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Neuroanatomical changes in white and grey matter after sleeve gastrectomy

Abstract : BACKGROUND: MRI studies show that obese adults have reduced grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) tissue density as well as altered WM integrity. Bariatric surgery can lead to substantial weight loss and improvements in metabolic parameters, but it remains to be examined if it induces structural brain changes. The aim of this study was to characterize GM and WM density changes measured with MRI in a longitudinal setting following sleeve gastrectomy, and to determine whether any changes are related to inflammation and cardiometabolic blood markers. METHODS: 29 participants with obesity (age: 45.9 ​± ​7.8 years) scheduled to undergo sleeve gastrectomy were recruited. High-resolution T1-weighted anatomical images were acquired 1 month prior to as well as 4 and 12 months after surgery. GM and WM densities were quantified using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Circulating lipid profile, glucose, insulin and inflammatory markers (interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein) were measured at each time point. A linear mixed effect model was used to compare brain changes before and after SG, controlling for age, sex, initial BMI and diabetic status. To assess the associations between changes in adiposity, metabolism and inflammation and changes in GM or WM density, the mean GM and WM densities were extracted across all the participants using atlas-derived regions of interest, and linear mixed-effect models were used. RESULTS: As expected, weight, BMI, waist circumference and neck circumference significantly decreased after SG compared with baseline (p ​\textless ​0.001 for all). A widespread increase in WM density was observed after surgery, particularly in the cerebellum, brain stem, cerebellar peduncle, cingulum, corpus callosum and corona radiata (p ​\textless ​0.05, after FDR correction). Significant increases in GM density were observed 4 months after SG compared to baseline in several brain regions such as the bilateral occipital cortex, temporal cortex, postcentral gyrus, cerebellum, hippocampus and insula as well as right fusiform gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus, right lingual gyrus and right amygdala. These GM and WM increases were more pronounced and widespread after 12 months and were significantly associated with post-operative weight loss and the improvement of metabolic alterations. A linear mixed-effect model also showed associations between post-operative reductions in lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, a marker of inflammation, and increased WM density. To confirm our results, we tested whether the peak of each significant region showed BMI-related differences in an independent dataset (Human Connectome Project). We matched a group of individuals who were severely obese with a group of individuals who were lean for age, sex and ethnicity. Severe obesity was associated with reduced WM density in the brain stem and cerebellar peduncle as well as reduced GM density in cerebellum, regions that significantly changed after surgery (p ​\textless ​0.01 for all clusters). CONCLUSIONS: Bariatric surgery-induced weight loss and improvement in metabolic alterations is associated with widespread increases in WM and GM densities. These post-operative changes overlapped with baseline brain differences between participants who were severely obese and those who were normal-weight in a separate dataset, which may suggest a recovery of WM and GM alterations after bariatric surgery.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 14, 2021 - 2:44:39 PM
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A. Michaud, M. Dadar, M. Pelletier, Y. Zeighami, I. Garcia-Garcia, et al.. Neuroanatomical changes in white and grey matter after sleeve gastrectomy. NeuroImage, 2020, 213, pp.116696. ⟨10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116696⟩. ⟨inserm-03226396⟩

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