The Phaserl


This Lifestyle Factor Could Age Your Brain by 10 Years

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are warning that being overweight in middle age may age your brain by 10 years. [1]

The Study and the Findings

A team of researchers from the Cambridge Center for Aging and Neuroscience looked at the brains of 473 people between the ages of 20 and 87, and divided them into two categories: lean and overweight.

The white matter of the brain is the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows for the exchange of information between regions. The white matter of those in the overweight category, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) above 25, had shrunk considerably more than it had in the brains of those in the lean category.

Brain shrinkage is associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia. [1]

The researchers scanned the participants’ brains and discovered changes in the brain structure of overweight people that are normally seen in people of advanced age.

The team calculated how white matter volume related to age across the two groups and found that at age 50, overweight people had as much white matter volume as a 60-year-old. [2]

Lead researcher, Dr. Lisa Ronan from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, said:

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