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Study finds obesity-related neurodegeneration mimics Alzheimer’s disease | Newsroom

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Right temporoparietal and left prefrontal cortex thinning was similar in both groups

A new study led by scientists at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital has found a correlation between neurodegeneration in obese people and those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Previous studies have shown that obesity is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related changes, such as cerebrovascular damage and amyloid-β accumulation. However, so far, no studies have directly compared brain atrophy patterns in Alzheimer’s disease and obesity.

Using a sample of over 1,300 people, researchers compared patterns of gray matter atrophy in obesity and AD. They compared AD patients with healthy controls, compared obese and non-obese individuals, and created maps of gray matter atrophy for each group.

Scientists have found that obesity and Alzheimer’s disease affect gray cortical thinning in similar ways. For example, the thinning of the right temporoparietal cortex and the left prefrontal cortex was similar in both groups. Cortical thinning may be a sign of neurodegeneration. This suggests that obesity can cause the same type of neurodegeneration seen in AD patients.

Obesity is increasingly recognized as a multisystem disease affecting the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, and other systems.Posted in Alzheimer’s Journal Jan 31, 2022 The study also helps reveal neurological effects, showing that obesity may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“Our study strengthens previous literature pointing to obesity as a key factor in AD by showing that cortical thinning may be one of the potential risk mechanisms.” “Our results suggest that, in addition to other health benefits, weight loss in middle-aged obese and overweight individuals may be reduced.” Reducing the risk of subsequent neurodegeneration and dementia is also likely to be reduced.”

This work was funded by a Foundation Scheme award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, computing resources from Calcul Quebec and Compute Canada, and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé.


The Neuro – The Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital – is a bilingual, world-leading destination for brain research and advanced patient care. Since its founding in 1934 by Dr. Wilder Penfield, a prominent neurosurgeon, The Neuro has grown to become Canada’s largest specialized neuroscience research and clinical center, and one of the world’s largest he . By seamlessly integrating research, patient care, and the training of the world’s top minds, The Neuro is uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on the understanding and treatment of nervous system disorders. In 2016, The Neuro became the first institute in the world to fully embrace the philosophy of open science, establishing the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute. The Montreal Neurological Institute is a research and education institution at McGill University. The Montreal Neurological Hospital is part of the Neuroscience Mission of McGill University Health Center.

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