The research was presented this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago (USA).
Accordingly, researchers discovered that visceral fat, the type of fat that surrounds internal organs inside the abdomen, is related to changes that occur in the brain 25 years before symptoms of early dementia appear. Most Alzheimer’s diseases appear.
Dr. Mahsa Dolatshahi, lead author of the study, told UPI News that it is important to understand the role of this hidden fat in contributing to low-grade inflammation and potentially Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Dolatshahi’s team analyzed data from 54 cognitively healthy participants aged 40 to 60, who had an average body mass index (BMI – a measure of obesity) of 32.
These people’s glucose and insulin levels were measured, as well as glucose tolerance tests.
They also had MRI scans of the abdomen and brain to measure the amount of subcutaneous and visceral fat and the cortical thickness of brain areas affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, 32 people underwent PET CT scans (a special type of imaging that helps show how tissues and organs work) to screen for Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed in middle age and is the early stage of the pathology. If patients are aware of lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, it will help them treat the disease more effectively and affordably,” said Dr. Dolatshahi.
On the other hand, to prevent obesity and belly fat accumulation, Ms. Dolatshahi also stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and regular physical activity.