Breaking News
September 24, 2018 - ADCETRIS drug receives approval in Japan as frontline treatment option for Hodgkin lymphoma
September 24, 2018 - Public awareness of urological conditions found to be alarmingly low across Europe
September 24, 2018 - Fitter Folks Suffer Milder Strokes: Study
September 24, 2018 - Novel botulinum toxin compound relieves chronic pain
September 24, 2018 - CHMP recommends approval of Gilenya for treatment of multiple sclerosis in children, adolescents
September 24, 2018 - National Friendly’s private medical insurance is a hit with women living in the South East
September 24, 2018 - Academics receive prestigious awards for achievements in blood pressure research
September 24, 2018 - Obese pregnant women can restrict weight gain safely with proper nutrition guidance
September 24, 2018 - CHMP adopts positive opinion of Takeda’s ALUNBRIG for treatment of ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer
September 24, 2018 - China NMPA approves LENVIMA for treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma
September 24, 2018 - A new approach for finding Alzheimer’s treatments
September 24, 2018 - USC research uncovers previously unknown genetic risk factor for dementia
September 24, 2018 - Study examining mental health among students finds significant disparities in treatment across race
September 24, 2018 - Breakthrough discovery paves way for future test to identify drowsy drivers
September 24, 2018 - Transcatheter mitral-valve repair in patients with heart failure
September 24, 2018 - Study opens new avenues for treatment of Laing distal myopathy
September 24, 2018 - Stroke Facts | cdc.gov
September 24, 2018 - Sarcolipin tricks muscle cells into using more energy, burning fat
September 24, 2018 - Enrollment in opioid controlled substance agreement reduces primary care visits
September 24, 2018 - UTA researchers patent new smart seat cushion technology that helps prevent painful ulcers
September 24, 2018 - Second HPV-Related Primary Cancers Common in Survivors
September 24, 2018 - How a virus destabilizes the genome
September 24, 2018 - Old letters provide insight into Spanish flu pandemic horror
September 23, 2018 - Smart textile-based soft robotic exosuit helps wearers save energy and traverse difficult terrain
September 23, 2018 - New research hub to drive radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - AHA: For Hispanics, Neighborhood May Be Key Factor in Heart Disease Risk
September 23, 2018 - Excessive airway nerves tied to more severe asthma symptoms, study finds
September 23, 2018 - Study highlights need to remain vigilant in maintaining key infection control processes
September 23, 2018 - Novel therapeutic strategy for blood vessel related disorders, such as cancer and retinopathy
September 23, 2018 - New naturally occurring antibiotic found effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis
September 23, 2018 - First-in-human phase 0 study shows clinically-relevant activity of new drug in glioblastoma
September 23, 2018 - Removing tobacco product display from shops reduced number of children buying cigarettes
September 23, 2018 - Random fraction of specialized immune cells leads the charge in battling invaders
September 23, 2018 - Few minutes of sprinting exercise may be as effective as longer exercise sessions
September 23, 2018 - Researchers use neutrons to make first direct observations of water in lipid bilayers
September 23, 2018 - Researchers demonstrate pre-clinical success for universal flu vaccine in new paper
September 23, 2018 - Study reveals surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers’ knowledge of ACA
September 23, 2018 - Oxehealth secures European medical device accreditation for vital signs measurement software
September 23, 2018 - HTN Tx Intensification Common Upon Discharge in U.S. Vets
September 23, 2018 - Fibre can strengthen the intestinal barrier
September 23, 2018 - New platform examines infectious pathogens that may spread from animals to humans
September 23, 2018 - Demographers create detailed color map of population aging in Europe
September 23, 2018 - New type of fatty acid can slow down overreactive immune system
September 23, 2018 - Innovative procedure could provide breakthrough in treating early-stage lung cancer
September 23, 2018 - Research finds drop in number of measles cases in the EU/EEA since March 2018
September 23, 2018 - Researchers acquire new insights into DNA polymerases
September 23, 2018 - Alzheimer’s diagnosis might become simpler with new brain imaging method
September 23, 2018 - Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors
September 23, 2018 - Researchers unravel why people with HIV suffer from more neurologic diseases
September 23, 2018 - Human brain structured to make best possible decision with limited resources
September 23, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Health on the hill
September 23, 2018 - Bad air and inadequate data prove an unhealthy mix
September 23, 2018 - Regular bedtime and wake time important for heart, metabolic health even among adults
September 23, 2018 - HIV and a tale of a few cities
September 23, 2018 - NIH launches clinical trial to test infusions of combination antibodies in people with HIV
September 23, 2018 - Researchers develop new system to detect consumption of synthetic cannabinoids
September 23, 2018 - Vax-Hub to influenze radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - People who have slept lesser than seven hours have higher risks of car crashes
September 23, 2018 - an ancient art may work best to prevent falls in old age
September 23, 2018 - Consumption of foods with lower nutritional quality related to increased cancer risk
September 23, 2018 - Patient Health Information Often Shared Electronically
September 23, 2018 - Can machine learning bring more humanity to health care?
September 23, 2018 - Body organs undergo structural changes in response to diet
September 23, 2018 - Genetic polymorphisms linked with muscle injury and stiffness
September 23, 2018 - As states try to rein in drug spending, feds slap down one bold Medicaid move
September 22, 2018 - Why Eczema Is Tougher to Treat for Black Patients
September 22, 2018 - Team reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes
September 22, 2018 - USC research uncovers previously unknown genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
September 22, 2018 - Novel method achieves accurate and precise temperature estimation in fat-containing tissues
September 22, 2018 - BSI accredits Oxehealth’s vital signs measurement software as Class IIa medical device
September 22, 2018 - Evolution of psychiatric disorders and human personality traits
September 22, 2018 - Obesity in early puberty doubles asthma risk for boy’s future offspring
September 22, 2018 - World’s most advanced real-time patient monitoring platform receives key US patent
September 22, 2018 - Study explores connection between sexuality and cognitive status in older adults
September 22, 2018 - LSTM partners with TB Alliance to develop novel TB drug regimens
September 22, 2018 - Annual wellness visits improve delivery of preventive services in elderly population
September 22, 2018 - CHMP provides positive opinion to Cabometyx for previously-treated patients with hepatocellular carcinoma
September 22, 2018 - Hispanic communities with high proportions of Hispanics face more cardiovascular-related death
September 22, 2018 - Vici syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
September 22, 2018 - Single-dose drug can shorten flu symptoms by about a day, studies suggest
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