CNS

Obesity Linked to Neurological Disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease

neurological disorders
neurological disorders-min

Obesity has become one of the most problematic medical challenges of the 21st century. Even more alarming, obesity is now associated with an increased risk of developing neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

Obesity, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, can be described as an increase in fat mass that adversely affects human health. In fact, obesity has become a serious problem worldwide; in 2010, obesity caused an estimated 3.4 million deaths. While genetics play a role in obesity, environment has become the main culprit as unhealthy food started to become readily available at the end of the 20th century. Perhaps the most terrifying statistic is that more than 18% of adults are expected to be obese by the year 2025. Recently, researchers found a link between obesity and several neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It is imperative that we understand how obesity may lead to these neurological disorders so that effective prevention and treatments strategies can be developed. O’Brien and colleagues describe neurological disorders affected by obesity in their review published in the Lancet Neurology.

Obesity is caused by the expansion of adipose tissue (what most call “fat”). Under normal circumstances, adipose tissue is responsible for things like storing and releasing energy, providing us with our very own form of insulation, and protecting our organs from any external trauma. However, when we take in excess calories, adipose tissues expand in order to make more space for storage. If there is enough of an expansion, the adipose tissue will not work properly, causing a cascade of stress signals that result in inflammation of the tissue. Prolonged inflammation of adipose tissue can then…