Research reveals link between obesity-related neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s

Montreal [Canada], February 12 (ANI): A recent study discovered a relationship between neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, meaning that losing weight could minimise cognitive decline and cut the prevalence of AD.

According to a prior study, obesity has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related changes such as cerebrovascular damage and amyloid formation. However, no studies that directly compare brain shrinkage patterns in AD and obesity have been undertaken yet.

Using a sample of over 1,300 individuals, the researchers compared patterns of grey matter atrophy in obesity and AD. They compared the AD patients with healthy controls, and obese with non-obese individuals, creating maps of grey matter atrophy for each group.

The scientists found that obesity and AD affected grey matter cortical thinning in similar ways. For example, thinning in the right temporoparietal cortex and left prefrontal cortex were identical in both groups. Cortical thinning may be a sign of neurodegeneration. This suggests that obesity may cause the same type of neurodegeneration as found in people with AD.

Obesity is increasingly recognized as a multisystem disease affecting respiratory, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems, among others. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease this study also helps reveal a neurological impact, showing obesity may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

"Our study strengthens previous literature pointing to obesity as a significant factor in AD by showing that cortical thinning might be one of the potential risk mechanisms," said Filip Morys, a PhD researcher at The Neuro and the study’s first author, adding, "Our results highlight the importance of decreasing weight in obese and overweight individuals in mid-life, to decrease the subsequent risk of neurodegeneration and dementia." (ANI)