Sunday 28 December 2014

Weight-loss surgery 'can boost brain power'

Published 27/08/2014 | 02:30

Bariatric surgery involves either reducing the size of the stomach or shortening the distance food travels through the digestive tract. Photo: Tina Stallard/Getty Images
Bariatric surgery involves either reducing the size of the stomach or shortening the distance food travels through the digestive tract. Photo: Tina Stallard/Getty Images

Weight-loss surgery designed to combat over-eating and obesity can benefit the brain as well as the waistline, new research suggests.

There is even some evidence that it may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, scientists believe.

Bariatric surgery involves either reducing the size of the stomach or shortening the distance food travels through the digestive tract.

A study of the impact of 
bariatric surgery on 17 obese women found it produced distinct improvements in mental functions which were linked to planning, strategy and organisation.

Professor Cintia Cercato, from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, said: "When we studied obese women prior to bariatric surgery, we found some areas of their brains metabolised (processed to produce energy) sugars at a higher rate than normal weight women.

"In particular, obesity led to altered activity in a part of the brain linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease."

Irish Independent

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