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Obesity and brain illness: from cognitive and psychological evidences to obesity paradox

Authors Monda V, La Marra M, Perrella R, Caviglia G, Iavarone A, Chieffi S, Messina G, Carotenuto M, Monda M, Messina A

Received 5 August 2017

Accepted for publication 21 September 2017

Published 21 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 473—479

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S148392

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou


Vincenzo Monda,1,* Marco La Marra,1,* Raffaella Perrella,2 Giorgio Caviglia,2 Alessandro Iavarone,3 Sergio Chieffi,1 Giovanni Messina,4 Marco Carotenuto,5 Marcellino Monda,1 Antonietta Messina1

1Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Human Physiology, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy; 2Neurological and Stroke Unit, CTO Hospital, AORN ‘‘Ospedali dei Colli’’, Naples, Italy; 3Department of Psychology, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy; 4Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy; 5Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Recent findings showed that obesity represents an additional risk factor to developing brain illness such as cognitive impairments and psychopathological disorders. However, some benefits of overweight in the elderly have been identified and an “obesity paradox” has been shown. Currently, it is still unknown how obesity and brain functioning could be linked, and the process by which body fat independently injures cognitive abilities and psychological well-being remains unclear. To establish the independent role of obesity on cognitive abilities and mental health, clarifying the role played by several factors and understanding their interaction is essential. In this review, we discuss the relationship between obesity and brain illness and underline the role played by confounders and other covariates to determine this link.

Keywords: obesity, cognitive decline, mood disorders, obesity paradox

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