In another story regarding loss of excess and unhealthy weight, unexpected findings showed that it also dramatically improved their memory and concentration facility. Note: Classical Medicine Journal does not endorse "weight loss surgery", and the scientific findings below are not hinged on the method of weight loss.
Researchers from Kent State University in Ohio gave a cognitive and memory test to 150 obese patients in New York and North Dakota. The tasks involved navigating through computer mazes and recalling word lists and as many animal names as possible in 60 seconds. Many of the patients scored in the low-average to average range. Then, about two-thirds of the group — 109 patients — underwent bariatric weight-loss surgery (104 had gastric bypass surgery and 5 had adjustable gastric bands implanted) through which they shed on average 17% of their body weight.
When all the patients were retested 12 weeks later the ones who had the surgery tested within average to above-average ranges, while the group that didn't have the surgery actually tested slightly worse — from the middle range of mild impairment to the low end, the team reported. The findings have been reported online and are to be published in print in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.
Changes in blood pressure seemed to have an especially significant effect: The surgery patients who lowered their blood pressure got better at recalling vocabulary words 12 weeks later than those whose blood pressure didn't change, researchers found.
The results seem exciting — who wouldn't want to be trimmer and smarter? But it's worth repeating that the study was small, only 150 people. Effects seen in a small number of people can disappear in a larger group.
And one finding in this study should give pause: Why would the control group — the 41 people who didn't have surgery — have lower cognitive scores in just three months?