Title Inflammatory biomarkers and brain health indicators in children with overweight and obesity: The ActiveBrains project
Authors Adelantado-Renau, Mireia , Esteban-Cornejo, Irene , Rodriguez-Ayllon, Maria , Cadenas-Sanchez, Cristina , GIL COSANO, JOSÉ JUAN, Mora-Gonzalez, Jose , Solis-Urra, Patricio , Verdejo-Roman, Juan , Aguilera, Concepcion M. , Victoria Escolano-Margarit, Maria , Verdejo-Garcia, Antonio , Catena, Andres , Moliner-Urdiales, Diego , Ortega, Francisco B.
External publication Si
Means Brain Behav. Immun.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
JCR Quartile 1
SJR Quartile 1
JCR Impact 6.63300
SJR Impact 2.58200
Publication date 01/10/2019
ISI 000488135800059
DOI 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.07.020
Abstract Introduction: Chronic inflammation plays an important role on the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as on brain function and behaviour. The aim of the present study was to examine the associations between inflammatory biomarkers and a wide range of brain health indicators (i.e., academic performance, executive function, behavioural and emotional functioning, and brain volume) in children with overweight/obesity.\n Methods: A total of 107 children (10.0 +/- 1.1 years, 41% girls) from the ActiveBrains project were included in the analysis. Five inflammatory biomarkers were analysed in plasma: white blood cell (WBC) count, interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Academic performance was assessed by Woodcock-Munoz Tests of Achievement. Executive function was assessed through the Design Fluency Test for cognitive flexibility, the Stroop test for cognitive inhibition, and the Delayed Non-Match-to-Sample task for working memory. Behavioural and emotional functioning was evaluated through the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) questionnaire. Total and regional brain volume was assessed by magnetic resonance imaging.\n Results: IL-6 was inversely associated with adaptive skills (beta = -0.228; p = 0.030), while TNF-alpha was related to mathematics (beta = -0.198; p = 0.034). In addition, CRP was positively associated with externalizing (beta = 0.246; p = 0.046) and internalizing problems (beta = 0.234; p = 0.039), as well as the behavioural symptoms index (beta = 0.236; p = 0.047). However, these significant associations disappeared after multiple comparisons correction. Inflammatory biomarkers were not associated with executive function and total brain volumes. Regarding regional brain analyses, WBC was positively associated with gray matter volume in the left middle temporal gyms (beta = 0.387; p < 0.001, k = 44), and CRP was positively associated with gray matter volume in the right superior temporal gyms (beta = 0.439; p < 0.001, k = 29). Additionally, when adjusting by total brain volume, CRP was positively associated with gray matter volume in the right supplementary motor cortex (beta = 0.453; p < 0.001, k = 51). Moreover, both, IL-6 (beta = 0.366; p < 0.001, k = 81) and TNF-alpha(beta = 0.368; p < 0.001, k = 62) were positively associated with white matter volume around the right inferior frontal gyrus pars opercularis, while CRP was inversely associated with white matter volume around the left superior frontalgyrus (beta = -0.482; p < 0.001, k = 82). After adjusting by total brain volume, CRP was also inversely associated with white matter volume in 3 additional clusters (beta ranging from -0.473 to -0.404; p < 0.001, k = 87).\n Conclusions: Inflammation was slightly associated with brain health (i.e., academic performance, behavioural and emotional functioning and regional brain volume) in children with overweight or obesity. Further larger longitudinal and interventional studies are warranted to elucidate the short-term and long-term effect of systemic low-grade inflammation on children\'s brain health.
Keywords Inflammation; School performance; Cognition; Adaptive functioning; Mental health; Brain structure
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