Cognitive impairment in obese improved by surgery

June, 2011

Consistent with evidence linking obesity and impaired cognition, a new study has found improved cognition in obese patients after bariatric surgery.

Growing evidence links obesity and poorer cognitive performance. Many factors associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea, damage the brain.

A study involving109 bariatric surgery patients and 41 obese control subjects has found that the bariatric surgery patients demonstrated improved memory and concentration 12 weeks after surgery, improving from the slightly impaired range to the normal range. That of the obese controls actually declined over this period. The improvement of those who had surgery seemed to be particularly related to improved blood pressure.

Study participants will be tested one year and two years after surgery.

Reference: 

[2224] Gunstad, J., Strain G., Devlin M. J., Wing R., Cohen R. A., Paul R. H., et al.
(2010).  Improved memory function 12 weeks after bariatric surgery.
Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.