PRIME project organises a webinar on obesity and mental health


The PRIME project (Prevention and Remediation of Insulin Multimorbidity in Europe) was launched in early 2020, aiming to unravel the insulin-dependent mechanisms that link diseases such as type 2 diabetes with brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and compulsivity disorders. Including 17 partners from academia, SMEs and NGOs, PRIME is using a broad range of preclinical, clinical and data-driven approaches to understand how insulin signalling might be involved in these brain disorders. On 26 January, PRIME organised a webinar for the consortium, entitled "Mental health and obesity: addressing a double epidemic".

Prof. Monica Bullo of the Nutrition and Mental Health Research Group of the Institute of Health Pere Vigili at the University Rovira y Virgili in Barcelona presented the webinar, which was chaired by Jeanette Mostert of Radboud University Medical Center. During her presentation, Monica explained that obesity and type 2 diabetes share many of the same risk factors, and themselves risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementia. There are also direct connections between obesity and type 2 diabetes: people who are obese are account for 65-80% of new diagnoses of type 2 diabetes. Focusing on mental health, depression and anxiety are both linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and dementia, with people who have depression and anxiety being at increased risk of developing these conditions.

Monica explained that late-life depression is associated with a 1.85x higher risk of dementia, but that mid-life obesity is much more predictive of dementia than late-life obesity, emphasising that there are ways that people can reduce their risk of dementia in mid-life, by adopting healthier lifestyles and improving their mental health. The next PRIME webinar will be held on 16 February, with a presentation from Prof. Henrik Larsson of Orebro University in Sweden.