Allostatic load and disordered white matter microstructure in overweight adults


Ottino-González J, Jurado MA, García-García I, Segura B, Marqués-Iturria I, Sender-Palacios MJ, Tor E, Prats-Soteras X, Caldú X, Junqué C, et al. Allostatic load and disordered white matter microstructure in overweight adults. Sci Rep. 2018;8 (1) :15898.

Date Published:

2018 Oct 26


Overweight and stress are both related to brain structural abnormalities. The allostatic load model states that frequent disruption of homeostasis is inherently linked to oxidative stress and inflammatory responses that in turn can damage the brain. However, the effects of the allostatic load on the central nervous system remain largely unknown. The current study aimed to assess the relationship between the allostatic load and the composition of whole-brain white matter tracts in overweight subjects. Additionally, we have also tested for grey matter changes regarding allostatic load increase. Thirty-one overweight-to-obese adults and 21 lean controls participated in the study. Our results showed that overweight participants presented higher allostatic load indexes. Such increases correlated with lower fractional anisotropy in the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi and the right anterior corona radiata, as well as with grey matter reductions in the left precentral gyrus, the left lateral occipital gyrus, and the right pars opercularis. These results suggest that an otherwise healthy overweight status is linked to long-term biological changes potentially harmful to the brain.