Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Excessive Weight Linked to Brain Shrinkage, New Study Suggests

Excessive Weight Linked to Brain Shrinkage, New Study Suggests

Saturday, 12 January, 2019 - 06:30
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
British researchers suggested that certain areas in the human brain may shrink after a remarkable weight gain.

In their study published Thursday in the Neurology magazine, they found that this shrinkage is found mainly in people with extra body fat, especially around the waist.

But according to researchers, it is unclear whether obesity could lead to brain structure abnormalities or the other way round, the German News Agency reported. Researchers didn't look for the consequences caused by the brain changes detected in overweight people.

Scientists know that weight gain can cause myriads of diseases such as diabetes, joints pain, circulatory problems, and breathing difficulties. But, it is not clear yet whether it endangers the brain and to what extent. In previous studies, researchers found signs of such risks.

Researchers led by Mark Hamer, sports medicine specialist at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England, studied how excessive weight can affect the grey matter in the brain.

The study looked at 9,652 people with an average age of 55. Researchers measured BMI and waist-to-hip ratio of the participants. Of that group, 19 were determined to be obese with a BMI above 30.0. Researchers then used magnetic resonance imaging to determine brain volumes for white and gray brain matter.

They found that those with high BMI and waist-to-hip ratios had lower gray matter brain volumes than participants who did not have a high waist-to-hip ratio.

Editor Picks