As we age, the effects of obesity on cardiovascular disease and diabetes are well documented, but little is known about the impact of obesity on brain health. Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, hopes to change this with new research aimed at better understanding how obesity in seniors impacts their brain function.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and depressive disorders rank among the most common health problems of the U.S. workforce. Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D. has been awarded a grant to study the impact of major depression on precision motor control and associated functional changes in the frontal brain regions.
For the past several decades, those suffering from depression have been told that by boosting serotonin levels, brain chemicals will re-balance and mood will improve. It’s no surprise then that more than one in 10 Americans age 12 and older take some form of antidepressant medication designed to increase serotonin levels, offsetting the chemical imbalance.