Caption: Thinning in the right temporo-parietal cortex and left prefrontal cortex were similar in both groups
Previous research has shown that obesity is linked with Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related changes, such as cerebrovascular damage and amyloid-β accumulation. However, to date no research has made a direct comparison between brain atrophy patterns in AD and obesity.
Using a sample of over 1,300 individuals, the researchers compared patterns of grey matter atrophy in obesity and AD. They compared the AD patients with healthy controls, and obese with non-obese individuals, creating maps of grey matter atrophy for each group.
The scientists found that obesity and AD affected grey matter cortical thinning in similar ways. For example, thinning in the right temporo-parietal cortex and left prefrontal cortex were similar in both groups. Cortical thinning may be a sign on neurodegeneration. This suggests that obesity may cause the same type of neurodegeneration as found in people with AD.
Obesity is increasingly recognized as a multisystem disease affecting respiratory, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems, among others. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on Jan. 31, 2022, this study helps reveal a neurological impact as well, showing obesity may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“Our study strengthens previous literature pointing to obesity as a significant factor in AD by showing that cortical thinning might be one of the potential risk mechanisms,” says Filip Morys, a PhD researcher at The Neuro and the study’s first author. “Our results raise the possibility that decreasing weight in obese and overweight individuals in mid-life, in addition to other health benefits, may also decrease the subsequent risk of neurodegeneration and dementia.”
This study was funded with a Foundation Scheme award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, computing resources from Calcul Quebec and Compute Canada, and by a postdoctoral fellowship from Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital)
Title of paper
"Obesity-Associated Neurodegeneration Pattern Mimics Alzheimer's Disease in an Observational Cohort Study" by Morys, Filip | Potvin, Olivier | Zeighami, Yashar | Vogel, Jacob | Lamontagne-Caron, Rémi | Duchesne, Simon | Dagher, Alain, DOI 10.3233/JAD-220535, published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Volume (91) Issue (3) by IOS Press. https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad220535
About the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Now in its 25th year of publication, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD) is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics, behavior, treatment, and psychology of Alzheimer’s disease. The journal publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, book reviews, and letters-to-the-editor. Groundbreaking research that has appeared in the journal includes novel therapeutic targets, mechanisms of disease, and clinical trial outcomes. JAD has a Journal Impact Factor of 4.160 according to Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate, 2022). The journal is published by IOS Press. j-alz.com
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IOS Press is an independent international scientific, technical, medical (STM) publishing house established in 1987 in Amsterdam. We produce around 90 journals and 70 books annually in a broad range of subject categories, primarily specializing in health and life sciences (including neurosciences, medical informatics, cancer research, and rehabilitation) and computer sciences (including artificial intelligence, data science, and semantic web). In addition, we offer specialized services that support scientific advancement. iospress.com