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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2019.00290

Adiposity related brain plasticity induced by bariatric surgery

 Michael Rullmann1,  Sven Preusser2, Sindy Poppitz1,  Stefanie Heba3, Konstantinos Gousias3, Jana Hoyer4, Tatjana Schuetz1, Arne Dietrich1,  Karsten Mueller2, Mohammed Hankir5 and  Burkhard Pleger6*
  • 1University Hospital Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany
  • 3Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
  • 4Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Germany
  • 5Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, Germany
  • 6University Hospitals of the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany

Previous MRI studies revealed structural-functional brain reorganization twelve months after gastric-bypass surgery, encompassing cortical and subcortical regions of all brain lobes as well as the cerebellum. Changes in the mean of cluster-wise gray/white matter density (GMD/WMD) were correlated with the individual loss of body mass index (BMI), rendering the BMI a potential marker of widespread surgery-induced brain plasticity. Here, we investigated voxel-by-voxel associations between surgery-induced changes in adiposity, metabolism and inflammation and markers of functional and structural neural plasticity. We re-visited the data of patients who underwent functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, six months (n=27) and twelve months after surgery (n=22), and computed voxel-wise regression analyses. Only the surgery-induced weight loss was significantly associated with brain plasticity, and this only for GMD changes. After six months, weight loss overlapped with altered GMD in the hypothalamus, the brain’s homeostatic control site, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, assumed to host reward and gustatory processes, as well as abdominal representations in somatosensory cortex. After twelve months, weight loss scaled with GMD changes in right cerebellar lobule VII, involved in language-related/cognitive processes, and, by trend, with the striatum, assumed to underpin (food) reward. These findings suggest time-dependent and weight-loss related gray matter plasticity in brain regions involved in the control of eating, sensory processing and cognitive functioning.

Keywords: Adiposity, brain imaging, Bariatric / metabolic surgery, brain plasticity, Gastric bypass (RYGB)

Received: 08 Apr 2019; Accepted: 12 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Rullmann, Preusser, Poppitz, Heba, Gousias, Hoyer, Schuetz, Dietrich, Mueller, Hankir and Pleger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Burkhard Pleger, University Hospitals of the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany,