OJMP  Vol.3 No.1 , January 2014
Cognitive Functioning and Insulin Regulation in Obese Youth
ABSTRACT
Background: There are data that suggest adiposity is associated with diminished cognitive functioning in adults and youth, independent of related co-morbidities. Little is known about the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with cognitive function in obese youth. The objective of the present study was to assess the associations among cognitive functioning and insulin regulation in a sample of obese youth. Methods: The sample consisted of 30 obese, non-diabetic youth (BMI > 95th percentile) ages 6-16 years (mean age = 12.60 years) referred to an outpatient pediatric endocrinology clinic. Youth were administered the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML-2). Results: Verbal memory, attention/concentration, and intelligence scores were similar across obese youth with elevated insulin levels and normal insulin levels. Obese youth with elevated insulin levels had lower scores in visual memory, with a medium effect (effect size = 0.51). Fasting insulin levels were not associated with any of the four cognitive domains in the multiple linear regression analysis (P > 0.05). Conclusions: These data provide preliminary evidence that visual memory may be impacted in obese youth with insulin resistance. Longitudinal studies examining insulin regulation, cognitive functioning, and weight status over time are needed.

Cite this paper
C. Limbers, J. Steadman, W. Bryant and M. Stephen, "Cognitive Functioning and Insulin Regulation in Obese Youth," Open Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2014, pp. 42-47. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2014.31005.
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