Study Finds New Benefit of Weight Loss Surgery

Weightloss surgery memoryThe Wall Street Journal recently published an article about a new study showing that bariatric surgery may improve memory function.  The findings of this preliminary study were published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. The study looked at 150 people, and found that those who received surgery showed significantly improved memory performance three months later compared to before the surgery.  On the other hand, obese patients who didn’t get the surgery showed memory decline.

John Gunstad, the lead author of the study, explains that “obesity causes many physiological changes that can harm the brain, even if below the threshold for medical diagnosis, such as systemic inflammation, poorer control of blood-sugar levels and reduced cardiovascular fitness. Improvements in these processes might be enough to produce improvements in cognitive function.”

In another study, weight loss is shown to decrease blood pressure in “regular people”. MedPage Today published an article about a study showing that even modest weight loss helps reduce blood pressure.  This real world study in Germany showed that losing as little as 5% of one’s body weight reduced the risk of hypertension by 13% and the risk of cardiovascular events by 20%.  While the notion that weight loss can improve blood pressure is not surprising, prior data came largely from intervention studies with selected populations or cross-sectional studies and this study looked at “regular people” that could be representative of larger populations.


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