Stefan Gazdzinski1, Rachel Millin1, Lana Kaiser2, Michael W. Weiner1,2, Dieter J. Meyerhoff1,2
1Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases, San Francisco, CA, USA; 2Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
Recent studies suggest that excessive body weight in otherwise healthy individuals is associated with brain structural alterations, poorer executive function, lower prefrontal neurometabolism, and as we have previously demonstrated, with widespread decreases in concentrations of N-acetyl-asparte (NAA, marker of neuronal viability), especially in frontal lobe. In this elderly cohort, we have demonstrated associations between higher body mass index (BMI) and lower NAA and glutamate (scaled to choline and creatine) in anterior cingulate cortex, a region involved in emotional regulation, impulse control, and goal directed behavior. Thus our results may point to mechanisms leading to development and maintenance of weight problems.