Current Diabetes Reports

, 14:495

The Negative Effects of Obesity and Poor Glycemic Control on Cognitive Function: A Proposed Model for Possible Mechanisms

Obesity (J McCaffery, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11892-014-0495-z

Cite this article as:
Alosco, M.L. & Gunstad, J. Curr Diab Rep (2014) 14: 495. doi:10.1007/s11892-014-0495-z
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Obesity


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is a contributor to many adverse health outcomes, including increased risk for dementia and adverse structural and functional brain changes. Milder forms of cognitive impairment in multiple domains can also be found in obese individuals of all ages that are believed to stem from brain abnormalities long prior to onset of neurologic conditions such as dementia. However, the mechanisms for adverse brain changes and subsequent cognitive dysfunction in obesity are complex and poorly understood. This paper proposes a possible etiologic model for obesity associated cognitive impairment with emphasis on the role of poor glycemic control and conditions like type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clinical implications associated with treatment of obesity in persons with cognitive deficits in addition to the cognitive promoting effects of weight loss surgery are also discussed.


Obesity Type 2 diabetes mellitus Cognitive function Brain mechanisms Glycemic control 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKent State UniversityKentUSA

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