Brain atrophy is related to vascular risk factors and can increase cognitive dysfunction risk. This community-based, cross-sectional study investigated whether glucose metabolic disorders due to body fatness are linked to regional changes in brain structure and a decline in neuropsychological function in cognitively healthy older adults. From 2016 to 2019, 429 participants underwent measurements for cortical thickness and subcortical volume using 3 T magnetic resonance imaging and for cognitive function using the neuropsychological screening battery. The effects of body fatness mediated by impaired glucose metabolism on neuroimaging markers and cognitive function was investigated using partial least square structural equation modeling. Total grey matter volume (β = −0.020; bias-corrected (BC) 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.047 to −0.006), frontal (β = −0.029; BC 95% CI = −0.063 to −0.005) and temporal (β = −0.022; BC 95% CI = −0.051 to −0.004) lobe cortical thickness, and hippocampal volume (β = −0.029; BC 95% CI = −0.058 to −0.008) were indirectly related to body fatness. Further, frontal/temporal lobe thinning was associated with recognition memory (β = −0.005; BC 95% CI = −0.012 to −0.001/β = −0.005; BC 95% CI = −0.013 to −0.001) and delayed recall for visual information (β = −0.005; BC 95% CI = −0.013 to −0.001/β = −0.005; BC 95% CI = −0.013 to −0.001). Additionally, the smaller the hippocampal volume, the lower the score in recognition memory (β = −0.005; BC 95% CI = −0.012 to −0.001), delayed recall for visual information (β = −0.005; BC 95% CI = −0.012 to −0.001), and verbal learning (β = −0.008; BC 95% CI = −0.017 to −0.002). Our findings indicate that impaired glucose metabolism caused by excess body fatness affects memory decline as well as regional grey matter atrophy in elderly individuals with no neurological disease.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Korean Ministry of Environment (MOE) as “the Environmental Health Action Program.” [grant number: 2014001360002] and the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) , funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea [grant numbers HI18C1629 & HI14C1135 ]. The staff at MOE or KHIDI was not involved in the analysis, interpretation of the data, nor preparation of the manuscript.
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry