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The effects of bariatric surgery on cognition in patients with obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:August 03, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soard.2022.07.007

      Highlights

      • RYGB is an effective option to ameliorate immediate verbal memory and delayed memory function in the both short and long terms.
      • RYGB may not influence executive function, cognitive speed, and attention in the both short and long terms.

      Abstract

      Obesity impairs cognition. Bariatric surgery can result in substantial weight loss in patients with severe obesity; however, the impact of bariatric surgery on cognitive function remains controversial. To quantify the effect of bariatric surgery on cognition in patients with severe obesity, we performed a meta-analysis of 20 studies retrieved from PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase. Of these, 6 cohort studies found that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass leads to better performance for immediate verbal memory function (standardized mean difference [SMD] = .56; 95% confidence interval [CI]: .30–.82, P < .0001; I2 = 0%) and delayed memory function (SMD = .64; 95% CI: .38–.90, P < .00001; I2 = 0%) during in the short term. Similarly, positive impacts on immediate verbal memory function (SMD = .46; 95% CI: .09–.83, P < .00001) and delayed memory function (SMD = .84; 95% CI: .46–1.22, P < .0001) were identified during a long-term follow-up. The Roux-en-Y gastric bypass group showed no improvements in attention, cognitive speed, and executive function compared with the control obese group. In 14 longitudinal studies (12 single-arm pre-post comparison studies and 2 cohort studies whose control group had no follow-up cognitive data), patients performed better postoperatively than preoperatively in all cognitive domains during repeated assessments. The analysis for the 20 operative groups showed that individuals treated with bariatric surgery had higher scores after repeated assessment of most neuropsychological tests except for animal fluency and letter fluency than baseline scores. These findings suggest that patients with severe obesity may obtain immediate verbal and delayed memory function benefits from Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

      Keywords

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