According to the latest study by Alzheimer’s Disease Journal, weight gain would have a noticeable effect on the functioning of our brain. The brain imaging highlighted by this study indeed shows that cerebral blood flow and general brain activity decrease considerably in obesity.
A disturbing discovery …
This is a study conducted by the Amen Clinic, one of the foremost mental health clinics in the United States, which has led specialists to analyze more than 35,000 brain imaging scans to assess cerebral blood flow and brain activity.
It should be noted that low cerebral blood flow is the first indicator through which brain imaging can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. This symptom is also associated with depression, disturbance in attention, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or even head trauma. In short, obesity increases the risk of all these diseases.
Striking images of a gradual decrease in cerebral blood flow have been observed in virtually all regions of the brain in underweight, normal weight, overweight, obesity and morbidly obese. These were noted while the brains were at rest, and again when subjects were performing tasks that required concentration.
In particular, areas of the brain known to be vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease, the temporal and parietal lobes, the hippocampus, the posterior cingulate gyrus and the precuneus, have observed a particular reduction in their blood flow in people with the condition. obesity.
For the United States, where 72% of the population is overweight, including 42% obese, this is particularly alarming news.
… but beneficial for the medical profession
Regarding this study, George Perry, PhD, editor of the Alzheimer’s Disease Journal and the Semmes Foundation’s Academic Chair in Neurobiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said, “The acceptance that Alzheimer’s disease is a lifestyle-related disease, little different from other related diseases. with age, is a real breakthrough for medicine. Dr. Amen and colleagues provide compelling evidence that obesity alters the blood supply to the brain to shrink the brain and promote Alzheimer’s disease. This is a major breakthrough because it directly demonstrates how the brain reacts to our body. ”
This study highlights the need to address the issue of obesity in medical interventions to improve brain function, whether they are Alzheimer’s disease prevention initiatives or attempts to optimize cognitive abilities. younger populations. According to Dr. Amen and his collaborators, such work will lead to improved outcomes in all age groups.
Despite the deeply worrying results of this study, doctors have hope. Dr Amen said: “One of the most important lessons we have learned in 30 years of functional brain imaging studies is that brains can be enhanced when you put them in a healing environment by adopting brain-healthy habits such as eating a healthy calorie. It is important to have a smart diet and regular physical activity. ”