Fascinating scans reveal how obesity affects our brain

Mail Online | 4/23/2019 | Alexandra Thompson Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
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Fascinating scans reveal obesity affects the structure of a person's brain.

A study that collected MRI scans of thousands of people of different sizes found those carrying dangerous amounts of weight have 'smaller volumes of important structures of the brain'.

Less - Matter - Loss - Nerve - Cells

Less grey matter suggests a loss of nerve cells, while changes to white matter may affect how electrical signals are transmitted within the vital organ.

And since grey matter plays a role in our 'reward centre', these changes may make it difficult for obese people to control their weight, researchers claim.

Obesity - Damages - Brain - Tissue

Obesity is thought to lead to inflammation that damages brain tissue, however, this is unclear.

The research was carried out by Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and led by Dr Ilona Dekkers, a radiologist.

Levels - Fat - Body - Volumes - Structures

'We found that having higher levels of fat distributed over the body is associated with smaller volumes of important structures of the brain, including grey matter structures that are located in the center of the brain,' Dr Dekkers said.

'Interestingly, we observed that these associations are different for men and women, suggesting that gender is an important modifier of the link between fat percentage and the size of specific brain structures.'

Obesity - Concern - Cent - Adults - Amounts

Obesity is a global concern, with 26 per cent of adults carrying dangerous amounts of weight in the UK in 2016, NHS statistics show.

And in the US, 39.8 per cent of adults were obese in 2015-to-2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Brain - Researchers - MRI - Scans - Participants

To determine how obesity affects the brain, the researchers analysed the MRI scans of 12,087 participants of the UK Biobank study.

Since it started in 2006, Biobank has gathered the genetic information of half-a-million people, and aims to uncover how DNA and lifestyle factors influence our risk of disease.

Scans - Technology

The scans were carried out with state-of-the-art technology that distinguishes between...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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