After decades of rapid increase, the rate of obesity in adults in the USA is beginning to slow and the rate of childhood obesity is stabilizing. Despite these improvements, the obesity epidemic continues to be a major health and financial burden. Obesity is associated with serious negative health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and, more recently, cognitive decline and various neurodegenerative dementias such as Alzheimer's disease. In the past decade, major advancements have contributed to the understanding of the role of the central nervous system (CNS) in the development of obesity and how peripheral hormonal signals modulate CNS regulation of energy homeostasis. In this article, we address how obesity affects the structure and function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the impact of obesity on Alzheimer's disease, the effects of obesity on circulating proteins and their transport into the brain, and how these changes can potentially be reversed by weight loss.
AAPS J. 2017 Jul;19(4):921-930. doi: 10.1208/s12248-017-0079-3. Epub 2017 Apr 10.