Obesity, which affects more than 600 million people around the world, can damage memory and learning, suggest researchers who studied obese mice and found that the disease kills nerve cells in the hippocampus. One of the lesser known consequences of obesity in humans is its deleterious effect on cognition, an impact that has been documented. However, a team of scientists studied in more depth the cellular mechanisms that underlie the cognitive decline associated with this chronic disease. Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience at Princeton and the Department of Psychology at the same university, used diet-induced obesity in male mice to try to understand how the disease impacts on the brain. The results showed that in the brains of obese mice, rebellious immune cells map the connections of nerve cells that are important for learning and memory, the researchers write in the American Journal of Neuroscience. Like people, mice that eat a lot of fat get fat quickly and after 12 weeks of a high-fat diet, rodents weighed almost 40% more than mice that were fed standard food and without excess fat. The obese mice showed signs of diminished intellectual capacity, says Elizabeth Gould, a neuroscientist at Princeton University, and reports that they had less ability to escape mazes and remember the location of an object than normal-weight rodents. (With information of Agencies)


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