Navigation Links
Study Ties Obesity-Related Gene to Weaker Memory

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In middle-aged people, a link may exist between weakened memory and genetic traits associated with obesity, raising the possibility that extra pounds change how our brains work, a new study suggests.

Researchers found the link between genes and memory in whites but not in blacks.

The research "could be useful in identifying people who may need more help with declining cognition," said John Speakman, a professor at the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, who is familiar with the findings.

Although some people believe obesity is purely a failure of individual will, scientists think genetic makeup has a lot to do with the propensity to gain extra pounds. Studies of twins and families suggest that genes account for about 65 percent of variance in body weight, Speakman said.

The new study focuses on four genetic traits related to a gene that's thought to play a role in obesity. Researchers looked for signs of the traits among nearly 8,400 white and 2,100 black people aged 45 to 64.

They found signs of a link between problems being able to remember words and two of the genetic traits. The connection held up even after the researchers adjusted their results so they wouldn't be thrown off by factors like large or small numbers of people who were of certain ages, genders, levels of obesity and education levels.

What's going on? It's not clear. Speakman said it's possible that the gene may affect both weight and memory.

"On the other hand, they could be linked because of negative impacts of obesity on memory function, or vice versa," he said. "The data don't allow us to see if that might be the case."

Dr. Michael Schwartz, director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence at the University of Washington, in Seattle, pointed out that the connection held up even when the researchers tried to remove any influence of weight levels.

"That suggests that it was present regardless of whether individuals were lean or obese," said Schwartz, who is familiar with the study findings.

What about the apparent difference between blacks and whites in the research? Schwartz said limitations of the study may have prevented it from detecting similarities between the groups even though they exist.

In the big picture, he said, the research raises questions about these genetic variations and their effects on how the brain works. That can lead to future understanding of cause and effect and tell us how it all matters, he said.

The study, which appears online Nov. 7 in the journal Neurology, was supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Although the study found an association among memory problems, genetic traits and obesity, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

For more about obesity, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES John Speakman, professor, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; Michael Schwartz, M.D., director, Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence, University of Washington, Seattle; Nov. 7, 2012, Neurology online

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
3. Coffee Drinking in Pregnancy Wont Lead to Sleepless Baby: Study
4. Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
5. Veggies Like Broccoli, Cabbage May Help Fight Breast Cancer: Study
6. No Added Cancer Risk From Hip Replacement Materials: Study
7. Reported Decline in U.S. Pneumonia Deaths May Be False: Study
8. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
9. Narcissists Often Ace Job Interviews, Study Finds
10. Sexual objectification of female artists in music videos exists regardless of race, MU study finds
11. Soy may alleviate hot flashes in menopause, large-scale study finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study Ties Obesity-Related Gene to Weaker Memory
(Date:6/24/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant ... of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB ... Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards ... in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... drugs, announced today that it was added to the ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes ... important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a ... invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today ... The Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, ... and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will ... and the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... failure, it replaces the function of kidneys by removing the ... the treatment helps to keep the patient body,s electrolytes such ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial healthcare expenditure on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: