New research suggests that losing excess weight may help to improve memory and concentration. John Gunstad and colleagues at Kent University's Department of Psychology studied 150 obese patients - 109 of which had recently undergone bariatric surgery, the remaining 41 obese patients served as a control group. Results showed that the memory and concentration of the bariatric surgery patients had markedly improved within just 12 weeks of undergoing surgery, moving them from the slightly impaired range to the normal range. "This is the first evidence to show that by going through this surgery, individuals might improve their memory, concentration and problem solving," Gunstad said. Although he wasn't too surprised by the findings: "A lot of the factors that come with obesity - things such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea - that might damage the brain are somewhat reversible. As those problems go away, memory function gets better."
John Gunstad, Gladys Strain, Michael J. Devlin, Rena Wing, Ronald A. Cohen, Robert H. Paul, Ross D. Crosby, James E. Mitchell. Improved memory function 12 weeks after bariatric surgery. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2010 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]
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