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1.  Obesity and the brain: a possible genetic link 
Structural brain deficits have been repeatedly linked to body mass index and obesity, which itself is controlled by the effects of a number of independent genetic loci. One of the most consistently replicated of these putative obesity genes is fat mass and obesity-associated protein (FTO). A recent study by investigators from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative set out to assess whether polymorphisms in FTO are directly correlated with brain volume in a collection of over 200 healthy older individuals. The authors found a modest but significant reduction in brain volume in the frontal and occipital lobes exerted by the same FTO alleles that also predispose to obesity. Although potentially providing a novel genetic link between obesity and brain structure, the relevance of these findings for normal brain function and disease remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC2983436  PMID: 20875147

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