Cognitive Improvements Following Bariatric Surgery
6/10/2012 12:00:00 PM
6/10/2012 2:00:00 PM
, MAUREEN F. FITZGERALD, ANDREW P. HAKALA-FINCH, VERONICA M. FERRIS, JENNIFER D.. SCHURDAK, JAMES B. CHAMBERS, STEPHEN C. WOODS, RANDY J.. SEELEY, TERRY L. DAVIDSON, STEPHEN C. BENOIT,
Various components of Metabolic Syndrome are significant risk factors for cognitive decline in humans. With the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the US, non-age related cognitive decline is a serious health concern. Sustained body weight loss ameliorates much comorbidity associated with Metabolic Syndrome. Furthermore, chronic calorie restriction improves age-related cognitive decline. Currently pharmacologic treatments result in small transient reductions in body-weight. Several bariatric surgeries, however, produce sustained body-weight reduction in obese individuals. An important unanswered question is whether surgically-induced weight-loss restores or improves cognitive function to levels observed in caloric restriction.
To assess this question, we maintained adult Long Evans male rats on a high-fat diet (HFD) (41% fat) for 7 weeks prior to surgery. Animals received either sham surgery (SHAM), vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) or roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and were fed HFD ad libitum. A control group received sham surgery and was pair-fed (PF) to the average daily intake of the VSG and RYGB groups. Four weeks after surgery, cogntive function was assessed. Reference (RM) and working (WM) memory function were assessed in a radial arm maze task. VSG, RYGB and PF animals exhibited improved RM and WM in comparison to SHAM controls. RYGB animals exhibited improved acquisition of the fixed platform in the Morris Water Maze task. RYGB animals also had improved performance in comparison to VSG, PF and SHAM animals in a 4-arm spontaneous alternation task which assessed spatial WM.
Collectively, these data suggest that RYGB, and to a lesser extent VSG, cause improvements similar to those observed in caloric restriction in memory tasks. Differences in performance in RYGB and VSG animals may be attributable to the altered milieu of circulating hormones which have unique patterns and levels of release following these surgeries. The impact of circulating gut hormones on cognition is a topic of ongoing research.
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