Bariatric surgery may also help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in obese people. Previous research has indicated that obese people face a 35% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to those with normal weight.
Emerson Leonildo Marques, MD, of the University of São Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil, and colleagues examined the effect of bariatric surgery on brain function in 17 obese women. Before and after surgery, the researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) scans and neuropsychological tests to assess brain function.
After surgery, the obese women also performed better on a test measuring executive function, the researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Such functioning is used in planning, organizing, and strategizing.
“In particular, obesity led to altered activity in a part of the brain linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease — the posterior cingulate gyrus,” Cintia Cercato, MD, PhD, a study co-author with the University of São Paolo said, according to PsychCentral.com. “Since bariatric surgery reversed this activity, we suspect the procedure may contribute to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”
“Our findings suggest the brain is another organ that benefits from weight loss induced by surgery,” she added.
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks, according to the National Institute on Aging. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first…
Weight loss surgery can actually benefit the brain, according to a new study.
In fact, researchers theorize that bariatric surgery could help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in obese people. Past research how shown that obese people face a 35% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than people at a normal weight.
“When we studied obese women prior to bariatric surgery, we found some areas of their brains metabolized sugars at a higher rate than normal weight women,” said one of the study’s authors, Cintia Cercato, MD, PhD, of the University of São Paolo in Brazil.