Bypassing TBI: Metabolic Surgery and the Link between Obesity and Traumatic Brain Injury—a Review

T. W. McGlennon, J. N. Buchwald, Walter J. Pories, Fang Yu, Arthur Roberts, Eric P. Ahnfeldt, Rukmini Menon, Henry Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Obesity is a common outcome of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that exacerbates principal TBI symptom domains identified as common areas of post-TBI long-term dysfunction. Obesity is also associated with increased risk of later-life dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with obesity and chronic TBI may be more vulnerable to long-term mental abnormalities. This review explores the question of whether weight loss induced by bariatric surgery could delay or perhaps even reverse the progression of mental deterioration. Bariatric surgery, with its induction of weight loss, remission of type 2 diabetes, and other expressions of the metabolic syndrome, improves metabolic efficiency, leads to reversal of brain lesions seen on imaging studies, and improves function. These observations suggest that metabolic/bariatric surgery may be a most effective therapy for TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4704-4714
Number of pages11
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Metabolic surgery
  • Obesity
  • TBI
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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