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Obesity surgery can produce memory loss

Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Obesity surgery can lead to memory loss, confusion and the inability to coordinate movement, a new study has revealed.

Researchers have found that the weight-loss surgery can cause a syndrome called Wernicke encephalopathy, which occurs when the body does not get enough vitamin B1, or thiamine.

The syndrome affects the brain and nervous system and can also lead to vision problems, including rapid eye movements.

Dr Sonal Singh, who authored the study in Neurology journal, revealed that the syndrome tends to occur in patients who suffer from frequent vomiting after obesity surgery.

Many of the patients involved in the study also exhibited other neurological symptoms, including seizures, deafness, psychosis, muscle weakness, and pain or numbness in the feet and hands.

"When people who have had weight loss surgery start experiencing any of these symptoms, they need to see a doctor right away," Dr Singh, a researcher at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, claimed.

"Doctors should consider vitamin B1 deficiency and Wernicke encephalopathy when they see patients with these types of neurological complications after weight-loss surgery. If treated promptly, the outlook is usually good," he added.

Dr Singh recommended that patients be given vitamin B1 through an IV or injection, although many of the study volunteers continued to have memory problems, weakness or coordination difficulties even after the treatment.

© Adfero Ltd

 

Obesity news : 15/03/2007

 

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