Can Bariatric Surgery Improve Brain Function? What a New Study Found By info on February 29, 2024

happy group of people enjoying a healthy mealMany people choose bariatric surgery to assist them in losing excess weight. Weight loss surgery reduces the stomach's size and alters the digestive tract to encourage rapid weight loss. The team at Tijuana Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, works with patients to coordinate weight loss surgery so they can enjoy its life-changing benefits.

While several weight loss health benefits are well known, we continue to learn more about how bariatric surgery can improve a person's life. For instance, a new study finds that bariatric surgery can improve brain functions. Here, we go over the findings of this newly released study and discuss additional advantages of weight loss surgery.

Studying the Effects of Bariatric Surgery on the Brain

study recently published by JAMA Network Open (American Medical Association) observed the effects of bariatric surgery on brain function. The study evaluated 133 participants between the ages of 35 and 55 to see how weight loss following bariatric surgery impacted cognitive functions long-term. Approximately 84 percent of study participants were female, and around 16 percent were male. All participants underwent the same type of weight loss surgery - gastric bypass.

During the study, researchers performed neurophysiological tests, lab tests, and MRI scans to assess cognitive functions in study participants. The study collected each participant's baseline cognition before bariatric surgery. Then, it assessed cognition six months after surgery and 24 months after surgery to see how brain function changed as participants lost weight and maintained weight loss long-term.

Research Study Findings

Several key findings of the published study highlight the benefits of weight loss on the mind and how the brain works, particularly regarding cognitive functions. Some of the most notable study conclusions include:

  • 11 percent of participants showed improvement in working memory (the short-term memory used to manipulate information and complete complex tasks)
  • 31 percent of participants showed improvement in episodic memory (the long-term memory of a previous experience)
  • 24 percent of participants showed improvement in verbal fluency
  • 40 percent of participants showed improvement in shifting their attention
  • 42 percent of participants improved at least 20 percent in global cognition

MRI scans showed physical changes to the brain's structure as well. The cortical thickness of the temporal cortex in study participants increased after surgery, as did the vascular efficiency of the temporal cortex. These changes remained two years post-treatment.

Additional Health Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

Study findings looked beyond cognition and brain function to reaffirm some of the well-known health benefits of weight loss stemming from bariatric surgery. In addition to improved brain function, study participants demonstrated:

  • Lower mean body weight, BMI, and waist circumference
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer inflammatory markers
  • Reduced use of medication for comorbidities
  • Lower reports of depressive symptoms
  • Increased physical activity

Contact Us

Bariatric surgery alters the stomach and digestive tract to promote weight loss in patients who are medically or morbidly obese. Given the physical benefits of bariatric surgery, including improved brain function, we encourage people who have struggled to lose excessive weight to consider weight loss surgery. Contact Tijuana Bariatrics to learn more about bariatric techniques and which may be best suited to your unique needs.

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Tijuana Bariatrics

The network of physicians coordinating with Tijuana Bariatrics performs a wide range of services, including bariatric surgery. By choosing Tijuana Bariatrics, you can experience safe care from a board-certified surgeon in luxury accommodations.

For more information, fill out this online form or call (800) 308-3607 today.

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