Experts at the University of South Australia have unveiled in their new findings how harmful body fat may heighten the risk of cognitive decline and stroke.
First released in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, the study began with an examination of genetic data involving more than 300,000 records in the UK Biobank.
Researchers conducted a large-scale Mendelian randomization analysis to establish causal evidence.
“We used 3 classes of genetic instruments, which all increase body mass index but are associated with different metabolic profiles (unfavorable, neutral and favorable),” wrote Anwar Mulugeta and his colleagues in the findings. “We validated the instruments using anthropometric and cardio-metabolic traits.”
Upon investigating causal relationships between three types of obesity, researchers concluded that lower levels of gray brain matter were evident among people with higher levels of obesity.
The study points to the conclusion that increased body fat may lead to a higher risk of declining brain health, with obesity potentially contributing to gray matter volume (GMV) atrophy.
“These findings suggest that obesity-related metabolic abnormalities may contribute to GMV atrophy, warranting further studies.”