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Excess Weight May Shrink the Brain’s White Matter

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Author: GSBS | Category: In The News | September 09, 2016

Dr. Nicolas Musi, spokesperson for the American Federation for Aging Research and director of the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies was featured on Endocrine Web.

From the study results, the researchers cannot say for sure if it’s the obesity or related factors driving the changes in white matter. Dr. Musi reviewed the findings and he explained that many factors may explain the decline, including diabetes and insulin resistance, for instance.

As for why the differences became apparent in middle age, Dr. Musi says that simply may be when it becomes more noticeable on brain scans. "I think it's just a progression," he says of the white matter decline, "a linear progression."

Dr. Musi advises those who are overweight not only to try to lose the excess but to maintain good blood sugar levels, healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. "All these things are important at many levels," Musi says. "One is blood flow to the brain." It helps the brain work well, he says.

Regular exercise can also help blood flow to the brain, and improve functioning, he says.

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