Poster B77, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
The effects of obesity on olfactory and visual event-related potentials
Andrew J. Fiscella1, Claire Murphy1; 1San Diego State University
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia marked by the presence of Aβ-plaques, neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and cognitive decline. There is evidence that the pathophysiological symptoms of AD may begin decades before cognitive decline appears. The formation of NFTs in the Alzheimer’s brain may begin in the olfactory cortices and studies examining APOE-ε4 carriers have shown deficits in odor processing before the development of AD. Additionally, as obesity serves as a risk factor for AD, it is crucial to understand the link between obesity and olfaction. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of obesity on olfactory and visual event-related potential components, specifically N1, P2, N2 and P3. Participants were 13 young adults and 12 older adults recruited from San Diego State University and the San Diego community. Odor discrimination was tested with a pairwise task in which participants were presented with pairs of odors and indicated whether odors in a pair were the “same” or “different”. An analogous color discrimination task was also presented. Results of repeated-measures ANOVAs indicated that when odors were different there was a significant effect of BMI on the amplitudes of N2 F(1,12) = 9.218, p < .05 and P3 F(1,12) = 5.626, p < .05 as well as a significant effect of BMI F(1,12) = 6.501, p < .05 and waist circumference F(1,12) = 15.439, p < .05 on the latency of N1. These results suggest that being overweight or obese may negatively impact olfactory and visual brain function.
Topic Area: METHODS: Electrophysiology