Gastric banding surgery used to help with weight loss may also boost your brain power after study shows those who have it perform better on cognitive tests after receiving the treatment
- Doctors think drastic weight loss may boost blood flow to the brain
- Experts say post-surgery patients also spend less time thinking about food
- Up to 7,000 Britons have gastric banding and other weight loss operations every year
Gastric banding surgery is good for your brain as well as your waistline, study finds.
Obese patients performed better on cognitive tests after the weight-loss operation than before, Dutch researchers found.
Doctors believe the drop in blood pressure triggered by drastic weight loss may stimulate blood flow to the brain.
Post-surgery patients also spend less time thinking about food, freeing up brain capacity, experts have suggested, which could help them avoid memory-losing conditions such as dementia later on.
Previous research has linked weight loss to improved brain power, allowing people to better prioritize tasks, filter out distractions and control impulses.
Doctors believe a drop in blood pressure triggered by drastic weight loss may boost blood flow to the brain (file image)
The latest study looked at the influence of bariatric surgery on the mental performance of 129 patients.
They underwent memory, speech and attention tests before gastric bypass surgery in 2018 and after in 2021.
Forty patients also had before and after MRI scans to see how their brain structure had changed.
Presenting the results at the European Obesity Congress in Dublin, Dr Amanda Kiliaan of Radboud University Medical Center said patients’ memory and attention were “still improving two years after the operation”.
She said: “Numerous studies have shown that the vascular problems present in morbid obesity are risk factors for the development of neurodegeneration, cognitive decline and dementia. People exercise more and have a better mood after surgery.
Up to 7,000 Britons undergo bariatric surgery – the collective term for gastric banding and other weight loss operations – every year.