Obesity-Associated Neurodegeneration Pattern Mimics Alzheimer's Disease in an Observational Cohort Study.

Morys F, Potvin O, Zeighami Y, Vogel J, Lamontagne-Caron R, Duchesne S, Dagher A, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

J. Alzheimers Dis. 91 (3) 1059-1071 [2022-12-25; online 2022-12-25]

Excess weight in adulthood leads to health complications such as diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia. Recently, excess weight has also been related to brain atrophy and cognitive decline. Reports show that obesity is linked with Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related changes, such as cerebrovascular damage or amyloid-β accumulation. However, to date no research has conducted a direct comparison between brain atrophy patterns in AD and obesity. Here, we compared patterns of brain atrophy and amyloid-β/tau protein accumulation in obesity and AD using a sample of over 1,300 individuals from four groups: AD patients, healthy controls, obese otherwise healthy individuals, and lean individuals. We age- and sex-matched all groups to the AD-patients group and created cortical thickness maps of AD and obesity. This was done by comparing AD patients with healthy controls, and obese individuals with lean individuals. We then compared the AD and obesity maps using correlation analyses and permutation-based tests that account for spatial autocorrelation. Similarly, we compared obesity brain maps with amyloid-β and tau protein maps from other studies. Obesity maps were highly correlated with AD maps but were not correlated with amyloid-β/tau protein maps. This effect was not accounted for by the presence of obesity in the AD group. Our research confirms that obesity-related grey matter atrophy resembles that of AD. Excess weight management could lead to improved health outcomes, slow down cognitive decline in aging, and lower the risk for AD.

DDLS Fellow

Jacob W Vogel

PubMed 36565111

DOI 10.3233/JAD-220535

Crossref 10.3233/JAD-220535

pmc: PMC9912737
pii: JAD220535

Publications 9.5.0