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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 2473081, 13 pages
Review Article

Obesity Reduces Cognitive and Motor Functions across the Lifespan

1Department of Neurology, The Affiliated Shenzhen Nanshan Hospital, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518000, China
2Center for Brain Disorders and Cognitive Neuroscience, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
3Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
4Department of Neurology, Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518035, China

Received 21 July 2015; Accepted 15 October 2015

Academic Editor: Mauricio Arcos-Burgos

Copyright © 2016 Chuanming Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to a sedentary lifestyle, more and more people are becoming obese nowadays. In addition to health-related problems, obesity can also impair cognition and motor performance. Previous results have shown that obesity mainly affects cognition and motor behaviors through altering brain functions and musculoskeletal system, respectively. Many factors, such as insulin/leptin dysregulation and inflammation, mediate the effect of obesity and cognition and motor behaviors. Substantial evidence has suggested exercise to be an effective way to improve obesity and related cognitive and motor dysfunctions. This paper aims to discuss the association of obesity with cognition and motor behaviors and its underlying mechanisms. Following this, mechanisms of exercise to improve obesity-related dysfunctions are described. Finally, implications and future research direction are raised.