Weight affects the risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders differently

A team led by Jintai Yu, a researcher at the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute, explored the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and its changes and BMI-metabolic health status with six neurological and psychiatric disorders (stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders). The study demonstrated the harmful effects of obesity on stroke, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders, as well as the adverse effects of BMI loss on anxiety and sleep disorders.

Although being in a healthy metabolic state can partially mitigate the adverse effects of obesity, metabolically healthy obesity is not a completely benign state and is just as likely to increase the risk of depression and sleep disorders. In addition, potential underlying mechanisms for these associations were explored by identifying associations of BMI-metabolic health status with brain structure and dietary intake, while also demonstrating the mediating role of blood markers of inflammation in the correlation between BMI-metabolic health status and neurological and psychiatric disorders. Therefore, the study proposes that weight management should be recommended to all obese populations to prevent neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The findings were published in Nature Mental Health and were selected by the editors for the Research Briefing.

Read the article on Nature