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James Brody July 22nd, 2010 10:54 AM

Obesity/CNS Volume
Large people only lately have escaped medicine's threat of early shrouds.
Now they are promised stupidity?

More seriously, there may be some links to Prader-Willi Syndrome (severe mental retardation, great weight gains, and early death).

"A recent study demonstrated a genetic polymorphism that correlated with both high weight and small brain volume (Journal Watch Psychiatry May 24 2010). Now, researchers examine possible associations between total cerebral brain volume (TCBV), determined through magnetic resonance imaging, and obesity, which included abdominal measurements on CT scans, body-mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).

The 733 participants (mean age, 60; 53% women) were enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Study and lacked histories of stroke or dementia.

Not surprisingly, subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue measurements were correlated with other measurements of obesity. All obesity measurements were inversely associated with TCBV. These associations were independent of other vascular risk factors (e.g., diabetes, systolic blood pressure). The strongest inverse association for TCBV was with visceral adipose tissue and was independent of BMI and insulin resistance. However, the associations were no longer significant after adjustment for C-reactive protein levels."

Jonathan Silver, MD

Debette S et al. Visceral fat is associated with lower brain volume in healthy middle-aged adults. Ann Neurol 2010 May 20; [e-pub ahead of print]. (

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