Gastric band surgery used to help with weight-loss can also boost your brain power after study shows those who have it perform better on cognitive tests after having the treatment
- Doctors believe the drastic weight loss can boost blood flow to the brain
- Experts say post-operation patients also spend less time thinking about food
- Up to 7,000 Brits have gastric band and other weight-loss operations each year
Gastric band surgery is good for your brain as well as your waistline, a study shows.
Obese patients performed better on cognitive tests after the weight-loss operation than they did before it, Dutch researchers found.
Doctors believe lower blood pressure triggered by the drastic weight loss can boost blood flow to the brain.
Post-operation patients also spend less time thinking about food, freeing up brain capacity, experts suggested, which could help them stave off memory-loss conditions such as dementia later on.
Previous research has linked weight loss with improved brain power, allowing people to better prioritise tasks, filter distraction and control impulses.
Doctors believe lower blood pressure triggered by the drastic weight loss can boost blood flow to the brain (file image)
The latest study looked at how bariatric surgery influenced 129 patients’ mental performance.
They were given memory, speech and attention tests before gastric bypass surgery in 2018 and after in 2021.
Forty patients also had MRI scans before and after to see how their brain structure had changed.
Presenting the findings at the European Congress on Obesity in Dublin, Dr Amanda Kiliaan of Radboud University Medical Centre said the patients’ memory and attention ‘were still improving two years after the surgery’.
She said: ‘Many studies have shown that vascular problems present in morbid obesity are risk factors for the development of neurodegeneration, cognitive decline and dementia. People exercise more and have improved mood after surgery.’
Up to 7,000 Britons have bariatric surgery – the collective term for gastric band and other weight-loss operations – every year.