Brain structural abnormalities in obesity: relation to age, genetic risk, and common psychiatric disorders: Evidence through univariate and multivariate mega-analysis including 6420 participants from the ENIGMA MDD working group

ENIGMA-Major Depressive Disorder W

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Abstract

Emerging evidence suggests that obesity impacts brain physiology at multiple levels. Here we aimed to clarify the relationship between obesity and brain structure using structural MRI (n = 6420) and genetic data (n = 3907) from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) working group. Obesity (BMI > 30) was significantly associated with cortical and subcortical abnormalities in both mass-univariate and multivariate pattern recognition analyses independent of MDD diagnosis. The most pronounced effects were found for associations between obesity and lower temporo-frontal cortical thickness (maximum Cohen´s d (left fusiform gyrus) = −0.33). The observed regional distribution and effect size of cortical thickness reductions in obesity revealed considerable similarities with corresponding patterns of lower cortical thickness in previously published studies of neuropsychiatric disorders. A higher polygenic risk score for obesity significantly correlated with lower occipital surface area. In addition, a significant age-by-obesity interaction on cortical thickness emerged driven by lower thickness in older participants. Our findings suggest a neurobiological interaction between obesity and brain structure under physiological and pathological brain conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
VolumeN/A
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2020

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