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Impact of bariatric surgery on neural food processing and cognition: an fMRI study

29 Sep 2018


The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is one of the most widely used techniques for bariatric surgery. After RYGB, weight loss up to 50%–70% of excess body weight, improvement of insulin-resistance, changes in food preferences and improvements in cognitive performance have been reported. This protocol describes a longitudinal study of the neural correlates associated with food-processing and cognitive performance in patients with morbid obesity before and after RYGB relative to lean controls.

Methods and analysis

This study is a pre–post case–control experiment. Using functional MRI, the neural responses to food stimuli and a working memory task will be compared between 25 patients with obesity, pre and post RYGB, and a matched, lean control group. Resting state fMRI will be measured to investigate functional brain connectivity. Baseline measurements for both groups will take place 4 weeks prior to RYGB and 12 months after RYGB. The effects of RYGB on peptide tyrosine tyrosine and glucagon-like polypeptide-1 will also be determined.

Ethics and dissemination

The project has received ethical approval by the local medical ethics committee of the Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany (registration: 2017-073). Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal as original research and on international conferences.

Trial registration number

DRKS00012495; Pre-results.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open