Obesity linked with reduced brain plasticity
October 28, 2020
Research has found that that severely overweight people are less likely to be able to re-wire their brains and find new neural pathways.
The recent study, undertaken by the University of South Australia and Deakin University suggests brain plasticity is impaired in obese people, making it less likely that they can learn new tasks or remember things.
In the research, pulses of electrical stimulation were applied to the brain to see how strongly it responded. A healthy-weight control group recorded significant neural activity in response to the stimulation, suggesting a normal brain plasticity response. In contrast, the response in the obese group was minimal, suggesting its capacity to change was impaired.
Dr Brenton Hordacre from the University of South Australia said “obesity is already associated with a raft of adverse health effects, including a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders and dementia. For the first time, we found that obesity was associated with impaired brain function, adding further support for the need to address the obesity epidemic”.
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