Brain Scan Similarities With Alzheimer’s Disease

For those of you that have a loved one that has developed/succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease, you know the tremendous pain and suffering that occurs for not just the person but also close family members/friends.  Watching a loved one that was once vibrant, sharp, witty, caring and intelligent gradually decline mentally and physically is almost too difficult to bear.  I know that for me personally, my sudden death would be a much more welcome event than having my family be forced to bear witness to my decline from Alzheimer’s Disease.

A recent study came out of McGill University in Montreal showing that brain scan changes in obese people mirrored the same changes seen in people with Alzheimer’s Disease.  The study looked at over 1300 patients.  The scans revealed similar brain thinning in regions involved in learning, memory and judgment in both groups.  

The cerebral cortex, which in humans is responsible for higher brain functions such as speech, perception, long-term memory and judgment, is the outer layer of the brain.  This was the area that appeared thinned out in the same manner in Alzheimer’s patients and obese people in the study.  

According to one of the researchers involved in the study, the next phase of research will involve re-scanning obese people to see if weight loss leads to improvement of the cerebral cortex changes that were similar to the Alzheimer’s patients.  I suspect that when that part of the study is completed, this improvement will be proven.

Sorry for the bummer of a post this morning but I believe it is important for all of us to understand the consequences of our health status and what could transpire if changes are not made.  There are many, many reasons to commit to long-term weight control.  As we are tempted to continue to engage in immediate gratification behaviors, we should all try to allow the higher functioning parts of our brains to say “no” and instead, engage in those behaviors that lead to better health…before it is too late for those higher functioning areas of the brain to help us.

No funny videos/songs this morning.  How about Dionne Warwick helping us send a prayer to anyone out there that needs one.