The Role of Hypothalamic Inflammation in Diet-Induced Obesity and Its Association with Cognitive and Mood Disorders

Sofia Dionysopoulou, Evangelia Charmandari, Alexandra Bargiota, Nikolaos F Vlahos, George Mastorakos and Georgios Valsamakis

Obesity is often associated with cognitive and mood disorders. Recent evidence suggests that obesity may cause hypothalamic inflammation. Our aim was to investigate the hypothesis that there is a causal link between obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation and cognitive and mood disorders. Inflammation may influence hypothalamic inter-connections with regions important for cognition and mood, while it may cause dysregulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and influence monoaminergic systems. Exercise, healthy diet, and glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists, which can reduce hypothalamic inflammation in obese models, could improve the deleterious effects on cognition and mood.

Keywords: diet; obesity; hypothalamic inflammation; cognitive disorders; mood disorders; depression; dementia