Dear visitor, this website is intended exclusively for health care professionals.

I work in the health care sector



Obesity can lead to premature brain atrophy

Author Prof. J. Spranger, University Department of Pediatrics Mainz

Previous studies have highlighted the risk of premature brain ageing in obese adults, seen in MRI scans through cortical atrophy [1]. A recent comparative study of more than 1,000 adults has revealed that the frontal lobe and left temporal lobe are particularly affected. This pattern corresponds with that of Alzheimer's disease [2]. Further investigation of ß-amyloid, however, ruled this disease out, suggesting this must be an obesity-specific kind of brain atrophy.

Comment: The report from the field of geriatric medicine [2] and the related findings about late neurological complications of obesity underline the need for intensive treatment of childhood obesity. How best to do this nowadays is outlined by the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics [3]. Perhaps the impending dementia of their offspring will prompt the parents of an obese child into following medical instructions.

Helin N, Kolho KL, Merras-Salmio L. Parentally reported early childhood upper gastrointestinal symptoms alleviate at school age. Acta Paediat 2022;11:174–182.