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Obesity is associated with reduced plasticity of the human motor cortex

Sui, Sophia X., Ridding, Michael C. and Hordacre, Brenton 2020, Obesity is associated with reduced plasticity of the human motor cortex, Brain Sciences, vol. 10, no. 9, doi: 10.3390/brainsci10090579.

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Title Obesity is associated with reduced plasticity of the human motor cortex
Author(s) Sui, Sophia X.ORCID iD for Sui, Sophia X. orcid.org/0000-0001-6388-1261
Ridding, Michael C.
Hordacre, Brenton
Journal name Brain Sciences
Volume number 10
Issue number 9
Total pages 10
Publisher MDPI AG
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-09-01
ISSN 2076-3425
Keyword(s) obesity
neuroplasticity
body mass index
transcranial magnetic stimulation
theta burst stimulation
Summary Obesity is characterised by excessive body fat and is associated with several detrimental health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There is some evidence that people who are obese have structural and functional brain alterations and cognitive deficits. It may be that these neurophysiological and behavioural consequences are underpinned by altered plasticity. This study investigated the relationship between obesity and plasticity of the motor cortex in people who were considered obese (n = 14, nine males, aged 35.4 ± 14.3 years) or healthy weight (n = 16, seven males, aged 26.3 ± 8.5 years). A brain stimulation protocol known as continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied to the motor cortex to induce a brief suppression of cortical excitability. The suppression of cortical excitability was quantified using single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to record and measure the amplitude of the motor evoked potential in a peripheral hand muscle. Therefore, the magnitude of suppression of the motor evoked potential by continuous theta burst stimulation was used as a measure of the capacity for plasticity of the motor cortex. Our results demonstrate that the healthy-weight group had a significant suppression of cortical excitability following continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), but there was no change in excitability for the obese group. Comparing the response to cTBS between groups demonstrated that there was an impaired plasticity response for the obese group when compared to the healthy-weight group. This might suggest that the capacity for plasticity is reduced in people who are obese. Given the importance of plasticity for human behaviour, our results add further emphasis to the potentially detrimental health effects of obesity.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/brainsci10090579
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1109 Neurosciences
1701 Psychology
1702 Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2020, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30145188

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.