Can brain dysfunction be a predisposing factor for metabolic syndrome?
The various mechanisms that may explain the association between brain dysfunction and the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome (MS) leading to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes have been reviewed. A Medline search was conducted until September 2003, and articles published in various national and international journals were reviewed. Experts working in the field were also consulted. Compelling evidence was found that saturated and total fat and low dietary n-3 fatty acids and other long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in conjunction with sedentary behavior and mental stress combined with various personality traits can enhance sympathetic activity and increase the secretion of catecholamine, cortisol and serotonin, all of which appear to be underlying mechanisms involved in MS. Excess secretion of these neurotransmitters in conjunction with underlying long-chain PUFA deficiency may damage the neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus and insulin receptors in the brain, in