Metabolism linked to brain health

Metabolism linked to brain health

2022-10-22

Every three seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia. And while there is no known cure, changes in the brain can occur years before a dementia diagnosis.

Now, a world-first study from the University of South Australia’s Australian Centre for Precision Health has found a link between metabolism and dementia-related brain measures, providing valuable insights about the disease.

Analysing data from 26,239 people in the UK Biobank, researchers found that those with obesity related to liver stress, or to inflammation and kidney stress, had the most adverse brain findings.

The study measured associations of six diverse metabolic profiles and 39 cardiometabolic markers with MRI brain scan measures of brain volume, brain lesions, and iron accumulation, to identify early risk factors for dementia.

People with metabolic profiles linked to obesity were more likely to have adverse MRI profiles showing lower hippocampal and grey matter volumes, greater burden of brain lesions, and higher accumulation of iron.

UniSA researcher, Dr Amanda Lumsden, says the research adds a new layer of understanding to brain health.

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