A new study indicates that there exists an association between having a heavier body weight and a larger waist in life and a quicker thickening of the cerebral cortex, which is a sign of brain aging.
Having an unhealthy weight is an important risk factor for many health issues, which includes developing metabolic conditions like diabetes as well as many other cardiovascular issues.
Researchers from the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami in Florida have been pondering in a new study, the results of which are now featured in the Journal of Neurology.
As per the research, there is a link between the body mass index—BMI later in life and the rate of cortical thinning in older age.
The outermost layer of the brain is called cerebral cortex which has got a high content of grey matter, the substance made out of neuronal cell bodies. The researchers associate the cortex thinning with cognitive reduction, which in turn is linked with a higher risk of dementia.
The authors thus propose that having a bigger than healthy BMI and a thicker waist circumference might speed up brain aging by 10 years or more.
As per the research in normal aging adults, the overall thinning rate of the cortical mantle is between 0.01 and 0.10 mm per decade, and the results would reveal that being overweight or obese might boost aging in the brain by at least a decade.
The researchers also warn that the study findings do not necessarily reveal a cause and effect relationship since the researchers have so far only noticed a correlation. Whether or not the relation is causational it might become the base for future research work.