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SPECT scans show surprising, scary impact of body weight on brain function

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | August 07, 2020 Molecular Imaging
COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As a person's weight goes up all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow in a linear correlation, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease from researchers at Amen Clinics, the nation's leader in brain-centered mental health treatment.

For this study, scientists analyzed over 35,000 brain SPECT scans from more than 17,000 individuals, making this one of the largest studies linking obesity with brain dysfunction. Low cerebral blood flow is the #1 brain imaging predictor that a person will develop Alzheimer's disease. It is also associated with depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, addiction, suicide, and more.

"This study shows that being overweight or obese seriously impacts brain activity and increases the risk for Alzheimer's disease as well as many other psychiatric and cognitive conditions," says Daniel G. Amen, MD, the study's lead author and founder of Amen Clinics.

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Considering the latest statistics showing that 72% of Americans are overweight and 42% are obese, this is distressing news for our nation's mental and cognitive health.

Although the results of this study are concerning, there is hope. The most important lesson learned from treating tens of thousands of patients at Amen Clinics and reviewing over 160,000 brain scans is that you're not stuck with the brain you have. By adopting brain-friendly habits, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can change your brain and reduce your risk for Alzheimer's and mental health conditions.

Amen Clinics, Inc. was established in 1989 by Daniel G. Amen, MD, who is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and 12-time New York Times bestselling author. Amen Clinics has the world's largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling over 160,000 scans on patients from 155 countries.

SOURCE Amen Clinics, Inc.

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