Monday, April 18. 2011
While weight-loss surgery can help people shed pounds, new research indicates that it may also help them improve their memory and concentration.
Researchers from Kent State University in Ohio analyzed memory tests taken by 150 people who weighed an average of 300 pounds to see how weight influenced brain health. Of that group, 109 of them had bariatric surgery, while the other 41 did not. After 12 weeks, all of the participants took the same memory tests.
Researchers said the surgery patients, who had lost an average of 50 pounds, showed improvement in multiple cognitive abilities, such as memory and executive functioning, while the morbidly obese patients did not exhibit any improvement - in fact, scientists said they showed a mild decline in memory.
John Gunstad, a Kent State professor and study researcher, said future research examine whether weight loss achieved through non-surgical means can produce the same changes in memory.
Physicians have long since suspected that obesity may hasten the development of cognitive problems. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists obesity as a risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease, as well as other forms of dementia.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)