Link between obesity and cognitive capacities discovered

Over the last few years, various scientific articles have tried to detect a link between obesity and cognitive capacities. The studies followed statistical observation suggesting that cognitive capacities are lower in obese babies than in non-obese ones.  A report published in these days in the Journal of Neuroscience, by a group of researchers at Princeton University, led by Elize Cope, shows the mechanism behind the deleterious effect of obesity on cognition. The researchers submitted some laboratory mice to a hypercaloric diet to induce obesity, then they observed a reduction in memory capacities in the obese mice and a partial knockdown of fractalkine receptors–molecules that trigger the activation of cells playing a key role in cognition. Moreover, the researchers submitted obese and non-obese mice to cognitive tests, such as orientation in particular labyrinths or food localization. They observed that mice not submitted to the hypercaloric diet delivered better results. According to the team, these findings could be used to find out how some neurodegenerative diseases–e.g. Alzheimer’s–develop.

(Source: Journal of Neuroscience)