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Immune cells destroy healthy brain connections, diminish cognitive function in obese mice: Obesity may drive microglia into a synapse-eating frenzy that leads to cognitive impairment -- ScienceDaily

Nearly two billion adults worldwide are overweight, more than 600 million of whom are obese. In addition to increasing risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, obesity is also a known risk factor for cognitive disorders including Alzheimer's disease. The cellular mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline in obesity, however, are not well understood. Elise Cope and colleagues replicated previous research by demonstrating diet-induced obesity in mice impairs performance on cognitive tasks dependent on the hippocampus and results in loss of dendritic spines -- the neuronal protrusions that receive signals from other cells -- and activates microglia. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches to block microglial activity, the researchers established microglia are causally linked to obesity-induced dendritic spine loss and cognitive decline. The results suggest obesity may drive microglia into a synapse-eating frenzy that contributes to the cognitive deficits observed in this condition.

New study shows certain video games can improve health in children with obesity -- ScienceDaily

wenty-two of the 23 families in the gaming group finished the six-month program. Children and parents in the gaming group completed 94 percent of the gaming sessions and attended 93 percent of the video-chat sessions. "When you don't intervene with kids who are overweight, often their health risk factors and health behaviors worsen over time," said Dr. Staiano. "So, unfortunately, we weren't surprised to see that kids in the control group increased blood pressure and cholesterol and decreased physical activity over the six-month period." Children in the gaming group: Reduced their body mass index by about 3 percent while the control group increased their BMI by 1 percent. Reduced their cholesterol by 7 percentiles while the control group increased cholesterol by 7 percentiles. In other words, the kids in the gaming group remained in the healthy range. The increase in the control group's cholesterol levels pushed them into the borderline category for high cholesterol.

Lots Of Fat And Sugar Can Take A Toll On Memory : Shots - Health News : NPR

Her researchers asked obese and lean people to do a memory task that's a virtual treasure hunt. The subjects had to hide something in a scene across various computer sessions, then they were asked what they hid, where they hid it and in which session. The Salt Aging Well: Keeping Blood Sugar Low May Protect Memory The obese people were 15 to 20 percent worse than lean ones in all aspects of the experiment. The finding confirmed what other researchers had already seen in rodents. "This really picks apart spatial, item and temporal memory, as well as, crucially, the ability to integrate them," which Cheke says is "one of the most fundamental aspects of memory." If you're obese, she says, you might just be "10 to 15 to 20 percent more likely to not quite remember where you put your keys."

One Weight-Loss Approach Fits All? No, Not Even Close - The New York Times

To help people find an effective way to lose weight, obesity medicine specialists say they start by asking if there is an obvious cause for a person’s excess weight, like a drug that can be switched for something else. If not, they suggest patients try one thing after another starting with the least invasive option, and hope something works. “There are 40 therapies I can throw at a patient,” Dr. Kaplan said. “I will try diets and aerobic exercise and sleep enhancement. I have 15 drugs.”