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Obese People With Type 2 Diabetes Would Likely Have Greater Risk Of Brain Problems

First Posted: Apr 29, 2017 06:10 AM EDT

A new research shows that overweight and obese individuals may have a greater risk of having brain problems like dementia. It mays also affect their cognitive function.

The findings of the new study were published in the journal Diabetologia. The study was headed by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The scientists from the United States and South Korea examined how being obese or overweight with type 2 diabetes could affect the brain. They discovered that they are at greater risk of intense and progressive changes in the brain structure and could have impaired cognitive function compared to those who were not obese, according to Web MD.

The study involved 150 people aged between 30 and 60 years old. They were divided into three subgroups and matched according to their age and sex. Those with type 2 diabetes were compared for the duration of their condition. Meanwhile, the three groups consist 50 obese or overweight people with type 2 diabetes, 50 of healthy weight with type 2 diabetes and 50 individuals of healthy weight without type 2 diabetes.

The scientists examined their brains using the MRI to assess the thickness of cerebral cortex. These include the cognitive assessments to evaluate executive function, memory and psychomotor speed. These are often impacted by type 2 diabetes.

The results showed that people with type 2 diabetes had thinning of gray matter in the temporal, prefrontoparietal, motor and occipital cortices of the brain compared with people of healthy weight. The gray matter of the motor and temporal cortices was thinner in the obese diabetic group. The temporal lobe is also found to be susceptible in the combination of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The thinning of the temporal lobe could lead to Alzheimer's disease. This study explains the linking of obesity, type 2 diabetes and dementia. The scientists stressed that weight status may have the additional role in the association of type 2 diabetes with brain and cognitive alterations, according to Medical News Today.

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