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Obesity Causes Memory Loss, While Losing Weight Can Help it Recover

Vienna, VA (PRWEB) June 21, 2013

Researchers in Sweden who attempted to study the effects of obesity on memory found that obese people are worse at remembering events during their life, but that weight loss can help improve this type of memory. The study, which was led by Andreas Peterson, a medical doctor in at Umea University, followed 20 women who are overweight who average 61 years in age as the followed six-month diets. The study was recently discussed in a Daily Telegraph article on June 18, 2013.

At the beginning of the six-month period of dieting, and again at the end, the women participating in this study were asked to take a test on their memories of names and faces, and they also underwent brain scans. These brain scans and their test performance showed that the women performed better after they lost weight. “The altered brain activity after weight loss suggests that the brain becomes more active while storing new memories...Our findings suggest that obesity-associated impairments in memory function are reversible, adding incentive for weight loss.” While previous research had confirmed that obesity could lead to worse episodic memory, this study found that in fact losing weight would mean that someone can regain their abilities after recovering from obesity.

There are also other cognitive abilities that can be harmed by weight loss. An earlier study conducted by Lars-Goran Nilsson and Erik Nilsson from the Stockholm University Department of Psychology found that semantic memory was affected by obesity as well. This study was published in December 2009 in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. It shows that the recent findings are part of an increasing body of research that shows the link between physical fitness and mental fitness.

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Georgiy Kharchenko

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