Breaking News
August 17, 2018 - Give Your Child a Head Start With Math
August 17, 2018 - Ground-breaking study tests whether rejected livers can be made viable for transplantation
August 16, 2018 - New algorithm could improve diagnosis of rare diseases | News Center
August 16, 2018 - SCHILLER introduces latest generation of ECG device, CARDIOVIT AT-102 G2
August 16, 2018 - Proper treatment, refraining from smoking can reduce heart disease risk from type 2 diabetes
August 16, 2018 - Mount Sinai study could transform treatment for patients with retinal degenerative diseases
August 16, 2018 - Penn researchers develop first mouse model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
August 16, 2018 - Four tips to help prevent fall allergy symptoms
August 16, 2018 - Women’s Preventive Services Initiative says screen all women annually for urinary incontinence
August 16, 2018 - At Stanford, patient discovers the source of her headaches, nausea | News Center
August 16, 2018 - To Prevent Injuries in Young Baseball Players, Chris Ahmad Reaches Out to Parents
August 16, 2018 - Restoring blood flow may be linked to longer survival in patients with critical limb ischemia
August 16, 2018 - New model of genetically engineered immune cells may help fight solid tumors
August 16, 2018 - Maternal stress increases anxious and depressive-like behaviors in female offspring
August 16, 2018 - Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke increases risk of COPD death in adulthood
August 16, 2018 - Scientists uncover key control mechanism of DNA replication
August 16, 2018 - NIH begins first-in-human trial of experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine
August 16, 2018 - Two diabetes medications don’t slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
August 16, 2018 - 5 Questions: How Stanford research is making MRI scans safer for kids | News Center
August 16, 2018 - Columbia Celebrates 25th Anniversary of White Coat Ceremony
August 16, 2018 - Phonak’s new smallest and most discreet Virto B-Titanium hearing aid
August 16, 2018 - New project aims to study growth of water-based microorganisms
August 16, 2018 - Higher social dominance linked to faster decision-making in men
August 16, 2018 - Blood test in early pregnancy could determine a woman’s later risk for gestational diabetes
August 16, 2018 - New research confirms link between DDT exposure and autism
August 16, 2018 - Neurodevelopmental Anomalies, Birth Defects Linked to Zika ID’d
August 16, 2018 - Risk of heart failure up in ALVSD patients with diabetes
August 16, 2018 - Exercise reduces symptoms and fatigue in patients with chronic kidney disease
August 16, 2018 - Study reveals role of RUNX proteins in DNA repair
August 16, 2018 - New research finds no harm from average salt consumption
August 16, 2018 - Researchers develop new way of testing bacterial resistance to antibiotics
August 16, 2018 - Magnetic gene in aquarium fish could open doors to treatment for epilepsy, Parkinson’s
August 16, 2018 - Five tips for successful long-term breastfeeding
August 16, 2018 - Researchers identify brain networks involved in object naming
August 16, 2018 - Promoting HPV Vaccine Doesn’t Prompt Risky Sex by Teens: Study
August 16, 2018 - Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis: Search for a Cure
August 16, 2018 - Research shows in the long run, charcoal toothpaste likely won’t whiten teeth
August 16, 2018 - Seattle Children’s opens new clinic to provide convenient access to pediatric specialty care services
August 16, 2018 - Curious case of the lost contact lens
August 16, 2018 - GN Hearing unveils world’s first Premium-Plus hearing aid
August 16, 2018 - Parental life span linked with increased longevity and health in daughters
August 16, 2018 - Health leaders reveal ten most important medicines in NHS history
August 16, 2018 - Mobile health devices diagnose hidden heart condition in at-risk populations
August 16, 2018 - When it comes to shedding pounds, it pays to think big
August 16, 2018 - Liva Healthcare announces appointment of Thomas Cooke as clinical services manager in the UK
August 16, 2018 - New digital pharmacy aims to help people living with chronic care conditions
August 16, 2018 - Preventing ACL injuries in high school athletes
August 16, 2018 - Experts provide insight into novel concepts and approaches for stroke rehabilitation
August 16, 2018 - Scientists reverse congenital blindness in mouse model
August 16, 2018 - Study shows link between use of benzodiazepines and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
August 16, 2018 - Study provides new insight into how ‘trash bag of the cell’ traps and seals off waste
August 16, 2018 - Trial shows PARP inhibitor as novel treatment option for patients with advanced breast cancers
August 16, 2018 - Prenatal exposure to violence increases toddlers’ aggressive behavior to their mothers
August 16, 2018 - Can manipulating gut microbes improve cardiac function in patients with heart failure?
August 16, 2018 - Hearts of newborn piglets can completely heal after heart attacks
August 16, 2018 - Ablating the mutant p53 gene in mice with colorectal cancer inhibits tumor growth
August 16, 2018 - Higher BMI in people with prediabetes related to evening preference and lack of sufficient sleep
August 16, 2018 - Using peripheral nerve blocks to treat facial pain may produce long-term pain relief
August 16, 2018 - Neural stem cells are the key to tail regeneration
August 16, 2018 - Study compares genetic and neural contributions to ADHD in children with or without TBI
August 16, 2018 - Adding energy drinks to alcohol may exacerbate negative effects of binge drinking
August 16, 2018 - Eye Examination Can Help Detect Abuse in Children
August 16, 2018 - Know the Difference: Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoarthritis?
August 16, 2018 - From ‘sea of mutations,’ two possible cancer links rise to the surface
August 16, 2018 - Does medical school take too long?
August 16, 2018 - Brown University researchers reveal key physical properties of ‘giant’ cancer cells
August 16, 2018 - Regular resistance training improves exercise motivation
August 16, 2018 - Feds urge states to encourage cheaper plans off the exchanges
August 16, 2018 - Seven activities that prevent you from getting quality sleep during summer
August 16, 2018 - Five ways to tell if your baby is getting enough milk from breastfeeding
August 16, 2018 - From Pigs to Peacocks, What’s Up With Those ‘Emotional-Support Animals’?
August 16, 2018 - Breast cancers enlist the help of normal cells to help them spread and survive
August 16, 2018 - Engaging with “high-need” patients outside the clinic
August 16, 2018 - Research illuminates how online forum may offer suicide prevention support for males
August 16, 2018 - Researchers identify way to grow immune cells at large scale for preventing cancer reoccurrence
August 15, 2018 - Keck Medicine of USC’s hospitals ranked among nation’s best for the 10th consecutive year
August 15, 2018 - Researchers compare existing approaches for automating diagnostic procedures of skin lesions
August 15, 2018 - Autism risk determined by health of mom’s gut, research reveals
August 15, 2018 - WELL for Life challenges you to explore the great outdoors
August 15, 2018 - ‘Zombie’ gene protects elephants from cancer, study finds
Early-life obesity linked to children’s lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores

Early-life obesity linked to children’s lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A new study by Brown University epidemiologists found that children on the threshold of obesity or overweight in the first two years of life had lower perceptual reasoning and working memory scores than lean children when tested at ages five and eight. The study also indicated that IQ scores may be lower for higher-weight children.

Obesity, which can dysregulate hormones that act in multiple brain regions, is associated with lower cognition in adults, the researchers said. But until now, despite the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, there has been scant research on whether weight status impacts how children learn, remember information and manage attention and impulses.

“The first few years of life are critical for cognition development, and we investigated whether early-life adiposity has an impact on cognitive abilities later in life,” said Nan Li, lead author and a postdoctoral research associate in Brown’s Department of Epidemiology, who worked with faculty member Joseph Braun on the study.

For the study, featured in the June issue of Obesity, Li, Braun and their coauthors focused on a group of children whose weight, relative to their height or length, was known at age one and/or age two, and who later underwent a series of cognitive tests.

These children were part of the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment study in Cincinnati, which first enrolled pregnant women from 2003 to 2006 and followed their children in their early lives. In addition to being measured for weight and height in the first two years of life, each child was followed over time via home visits by trained staff. Each child participated in at least one measurement of their cognitive abilities at age five or age eight.

Weight status

By measuring weight status with a weight-for-height score, which is recommended by the World Health Organization, Li and Braun’s study avoided problems associated with previous studies that tracked rapid growth or weight gain, they said. Some children who gain weight may grow rapidly but be lean, while other children may have consistent overweight/obese status but not be classified as having rapid growth. Assessing weight status by looking at weight relative to height, on the other hand, measures adipose tissue. The researchers wanted to study the impact of early-life adiposity on neurodevelopment in children.

The design of the study also allowed them to capture weight status during a period of time when the brain is developing neurological pathways that influence performance and functioning.

This means that the researchers could determine whether a high weight-to-height ratio led to cognitive difficulties, rather than the other way around. In some prior studies, it is difficult to know if excess weight is a result of lower cognition, the authors said. Preexisting low cognitive function could be the root, not the result, of obesity in children, because those children may not have been able to limit their caloric intake or get much physical activity.

Because there were a limited number of children in the study who were overweight or obese, Li said, the researchers grouped the participants into two categories, lean and non-lean. The non-lean group included some overweight and obese children and others who were approaching the threshold for being overweight or obese.

“We were particularly interested in those children who were at great risk of being overweight or obese,” Li said. The researchers wanted to explore whether those at-risk children had lower cognitive test scores compared to lean children, she said.

Cognitive tests

The children in the study took a series of tests that assessed their general cognitive abilities, memory, attention and impulsivity, according to the study.

One set of tests measured children’s overall intellectual abilities, including verbal abilities and organization skills. A set of computerized tasks assessed children’s attention, impulsivity and executive control, and a maze game tested the children’s visual-spatial memory. A sequencing test assessed working memory, and another set of tests assessed perceptual reasoning.

The researchers found that weight status did not appear to affect performance on some of the tests, but had three significant impacts.

“Excess early-life adiposity was associated with lower IQ, perceptual reasoning and working memory scores at school-age,” Li said.

IQ refers to overall cognitive abilities, while working memory falls under the domain of executive function, which the authors described in the paper as the set of self-regulatory cognitive processes that aid in managing thoughts, emotions and goal-directed behaviors.

“Executive function is associated with academic success in children and is critical for physical health and success throughout life,” the authors wrote.

Perceptual reasoning tests, according to Li, “assess children’s ability to examine a problem, draw upon visual-motor and visual-spatial skills, organize their thoughts, create solutions and then test those solutions.”

The authors wrote that there are a number of biological mechanisms by which early life adiposity could affect neurodevelopment, including pro-inflammatory cytokines that activate inflammatory pathways in children and adults. Systematic inflammation may affect multiple brain regions relevant to cognitive abilities and was shown to adversely affect spatial learning and memory in rodents, according to the study. And the dysregulation of hormones that act on brain regions including the hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus may adversely affect cognition.

The authors pointed out that the sample size of their study was limited and that further studies should be conducted to confirm their findings. Future work could also investigate the impact of early-life weight status on school performance, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnoses and special education use.

Source:

https://news.brown.edu/articles/2018/05/weightstatus

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles