Scientists from Princeton University showed how obesity may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.
Tendency to gain weight around the world has led to an increase in such diagnoses as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia, but the reasons for this phenomenon are still not entirely clear. In the new work, which could pave the way for preventive treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, experts have determined how obesity affects certain cells, disrupting brain functioning. According to experts, this discovery is proof that brain health should be a serious problem for people with obesity and their physicians, and there is an urgent need for targeted therapies that protect fat people from neurodegenerative diseases.
According to figures today from two billion people overweight in the world with over 600 million are obese. Obesity is defined as body mass index (ratio of weight-to-weight ratio) more than 29.9 per. In the short term in people with obesity more likely to develop diabetes, shortness of breath, chronic pain and depression. Over time, there are other more dangerous health problems. So, obesity is the biggest risk factor for developing heart disease and cancer. However, the effect of obesity on brain health still remains poorly understood.
To clarify this relationship, researchers conducted a series of experiments on mice. It was found that rodents, obese, worse cope with their cognitive challenges. In particular, mice were given complicated tasks that require intensive use of the hippocampus, which controls memory and spatial reasoning. In addition, in rodents observed increased activity of the primary immune cells in the brain called microglia, and decreased the number of dendritic spines – processes of brain cells that help transmit electrical signals.