Abdominal fat linked to memory loss
New research has found a connection between how your body metabolizes fat and memory loss. According to the study funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institutes of Health, the two are linked by a protein that lives both in the liver, which is the body’s major fat-metabolizing organ, and the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that controls memory and learning.
Previous studies have shown that abnormal fat metabolism is one risk factor for memory loss, but this finding allows scientists to better understand how fat is connected to memory and learning. And that could help them develop a more effective approach to preventing memory-related conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The study, published in Cell Reports, examined how different levels of a specific protein (PPARalpha) in mice’s brains and livers affected memory and learning.
Neurological scientists from the Rush University Medical Center found that when mice had normal protein levels in the liver but depleted protein levels in the brain, they performed poorly in memory and learning. When the mice had normal protein levels in the brain but depleted protein levels in the liver, they showed normal memory.
The results indicate that memory-related problems in humans might occur only when protein levels are low in the brain’s hippocampus.