Poster E36, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Obesity is associated with lower executive function but inconspicuous prefrontal brain activity.
Jennifer Beier1, Bodo Warrings1, Ann-Cathrin Koschker2, Andreas J Fallgatter3, Martin Fassnacht2, Martin J Herrmann1; 1Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Wuerzburg, Germany, 2Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, University Hospital, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany, 3Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Tübingen, Germany
Obesity is a prevalent global-health problem associated with substantial morbidity, impairment and economic burden. It has been recently shown that it is associated with limitations of cognitive functions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the actual study aimed to examine the cognitive performance of executive function and related prefrontal brain activity of 62 adults with obesity (mean age 39.6; SD 9.8) compared to 48 healthy adults (mean age 39.0; SD 10.4). Brain activity was measured with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) during the execution of the trail-making-test (TMT). The TMT consists of a number condition (TMT-A), an alternating number and letter condition (TMT-B) and a control task. Additionally, we measured executive function with neuropsychological tests. The neuropsychological performance in the Stroop task, working memory task as well as the behavioral results of the TMT (TMT-B and control task) during the NIRS measurement showed significantly reduced executive functions in the obese patients compared to matched controls (controlled for age, sex and education). In contrast to this, both groups show similar activation patterns for the TMT, with a main effect condition (F[2,216)=19.0, P<0.001), a main effect ROI (F[2,216)=7.6, P<0.001), and an interaction effect condition * ROI (F[4,432)=6.1, P<0.001). In detail we found significantly higher bilateral activations in ventral and lateral PFC for experimental conditions TMT-A and TMT-B compared to control condition (all t>3.3, p<0.001) with higher activation in TMT-B compared to TMT-A in VPFC. Normal brain activity with deficient behavioral performance in obesity is interpreted as ineffective compensatory mechanism or by capillary dysfunction hypothesis.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Other