Obesity and the ageing brain: could leptin play a role in neurodegeneration?

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Obesity and ageing are both characteristics of the human population that are on the increase across the globe. It has long been established that ageing is the major risk factor for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and it is becoming increasingly evident that obesity is another such factor. Leptin resistance or insensitivity has been uncovered as a cause of obesity, and in addition the leptin signalling system is less potent in the elderly. Taken together, these findings reveal that this molecule may be a link between neurodegeneration and obesity or ageing. It is now known that leptin has beneficial effects on both the survival and neurophysiology of the neurons that are lost in Alzheimer’s disease suggesting that it may be an important research target in the quest for strategies to prevent, halt or cure this condition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number708154
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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