CBBM Lecture "Impact of obesity and diet on brain structure and function" by

Dr. Veronica Witte,

Aging and Obesity - OMEGA Lab,

Department of Neurology,

Max Planck Institute of Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig

will take place on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 15:00-16:00 hours in CBBM Building, Ground Floor, Seminar Room B1/B2.

Host: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Krämer

Department of Neurology
University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein Lübeck Campus


The trajectories of cognitive abilities across the adult lifespan differ from person to person and are most likely open to change dependent on internal and external factors. While common cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and smoking have been linked to accelerated brain aging, lifestyle habits such as a healthy diet and physical exercise might exert protective effects. However, the underlying mechanisms of how obesity, nutrition and metabolic changes impact human brain structure and function are far from understood. Using population neuroimaging, we find that obesity affects brain tissue through systemic low-grade inflammation, and that obesity-related regional changes might translate into worse cognitive performance. Results from randomized clinical trials will be presented to discuss whether these detriemental effets can be counteracted by caloric restriction or targeted diets.


Veronica Witte studied biology and psychology and received my PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) focusing on epigenetic influences on the aging brain at Münster and Bielefeld University 2007. She joined the Functional Neuroimaging Group in Vienna, Austria from 2008-2009 to study serotonin and the endocrine system using PET and fMRI. In 2009 she did a PostDoc with Prof. A. Floel at the Department of Neurology, Charité Berlin. In 2014, she founded the Research Group "Obesity and Aging" at the Department of Neurology (director: Arno Villringer) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany.