Research

Scientists: Obesity leads to accelerated aging of the brain

American scientists from the University of Miamifound an association between overweight in old age and an increased risk of accelerated reduction in the thickness (thinning) of the cerebral cortex. According to the study, these factors can accelerate the aging of the brain by at least 10 years. Researchers say that complete people who have reached the age of 60 fall into the risk zone. The results of the research were published in the journal Neurology of the American Academy of Neurology.

Our research shows that in people with morea high body mass index is more often observed accelerated thinning of the cerebral cortex. This, in turn, confirms earlier evidence that obesity can lead to the destruction of brain matter, says Tatiana Rundek, lead author of the study, MD, and neurology professor.

What is body mass index?

Recall that the body mass index (BMI) allowsto assess whether the mass of a person is insufficient, normal or excessive. It is calculated on the basis of height and weight using a special formula. But in order not to bother too much about it, on the Internet you can find a BMI calculator that can calculate everything for you.

The brain of overweight people is aging faster

In a study of American scientists took1289 people participated. The average age of participants was 64 years. Before starting the observations, scientists measured the body mass index of people, the volume of their waist. In addition, with the help of computed tomography, researchers have found out the thickness of the cerebral cortex and measured the total volume of gray matter. Six years later, scientists conducted a re-scan of the brain.

Scientists note that among the participantsThe experiment in 346 people had a body mass index below 25, which indicates a normal weight. In 571 people, the BMI was 25 to 30 (overweight). In 372 people obesity was observed. Their BMI was above 30.

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For the purity of the study, scientists have excluded otherfactors that can affect the depletion of the cerebral cortex during a person's life are hypertensive disorders (problems with high blood pressure), alcohol, smoking, and so on. But even in this case, a computer scan of the brain at the end of the experiment showed a significant degradation of the cerebral cortex in people with excess weight, compared with healthy people. Researchers note that overweight people with an increase in BMI by one unit showed an increased level of thinning of the cerebral cortex by 0.098 mm. In people with obesity, thinning of the cortex was already observed at a level of 0.207 mm.

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Scientists explain that in healthy adultsthe overall rate of thinning of the cerebral cortex varies from 0.01 to 0.10 mm over 10 years. Based on this, researchers conclude that overweight and obesity can lead to accelerated degradation of the cerebral cortex. And this in turn is fraught with various health problems in the future. For example, in earlier studies, a link was established between the thickness of the cerebral cortex and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, which is accompanied by a significant decrease in human cognitive abilities.

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