Brain Gain! Weight Loss Surgery Boosts Cognitive Function
According to a new study patients who undergo bariatric surgery to lose weight may experience a few added benefits, cognitively.
Weight loss surgery is understood to help patients overcome a variety of obesity-related health concerns, including type-2 diabetes and heart disease. In the past, not much could be promised in the way of cognitive function, though there is a strong link between obesity and mental decline with age.
A recent study evaluated the cognitive functioning of 137 patients, 95 of whom underwent weight loss surgery. Patients evaluated in this study were middle-age, averaging 43 years. By studying the cognitive function of bariatric surgery patient’s overtime in comparison to obese patients who did not partake in any severe weight loss program, researchers were able to establish a correlation between weight loss and a reduced risk for mental decline. Patients in this study had either Lap Band or gastric bypass surgery.
Patients who had the weight loss surgery performed better on memory tests one year post-surgery than did the obese control group. The full effects of this study are not yet understood, as researchers plan to continue analyzing these patients over the next five years.
The exact cause of the mental boost isn’t quite understood yet either. Researchers speculate that a combination of improved health and hormone levels could be affecting the patients cognitively, but further research will find out the particular reasoning.
Take brain power into your own hands!
There are a number of ways to give yourself a mental boost and prevent the cognitive decline that is so common with aging. Here are a few tips that are also shown to help boost brain power:
- Learn a language. Recently, researchers have found that being bilingual boosts brain function. This is because of the extra work that your brain goes through every time you compose a thought. Instead of figuring out how you are trying to express yourself in one language, your brain is now firing faster as it tries to make out the thought in two, or three languages.
- Paint a picture. Being creative is known to help exercise the right-hemisphere of the brain, which is not used as often in our serious culture as the down-to-business left side of the brain.
- Laugh more. Laughter causes your brain to naturally release endorphins and relieve stress, which can help you to think more clearly.
- Write an article. Expressing your thoughts through writing naturally strengthens your brains ability to analyze and do critical thinking.
There are a lot of health benefits to weight loss surgery. Give these brain boosting tips a try and see if they help you to think a little bit clearer!