Memory improves in older, overweight women after they lose weight by dieting, and their brain activity actually changes in the regions of the brain that are important for memory tasks, a new study finds. The results were presented today at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
“Our findings suggest that obesity-associated impairments in memory function are reversible, adding incentive for weight loss,” said lead author Andreas Pettersson, MD, a PhD student at Umea University, Umea, Sweden.
Previous research has shown that obese people have impaired episodic memory, the memory of events that happen throughout one’s life.
Pettersson and co-workers performed their study to determine whether weight loss would improve memory and whether improved memory correlated with changes in relevant brain activity. A special type of brain imaging called functional magnetic resonance imaging (functional MRI) allowed them to see brain activity while the subjects performed a memory test.