First Advisor

Dr. Jamey Maniscalco

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Drwecki


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

45 pages


The typical ‘Western Diet’ includes a diet high in fats and sugars. This thesis explores the problems that this type of diet could have on the brain. A meta-analysis was conducted to show activated microglia count in the hypothalamus of mice after a high-fat diet. The results showed a large effect size with the included studies, showing that a high fat diet significantly increases microglia count across studies. Increased activated microglia leads to chronic inflammation in the hypothalamus, which is linked to metabolic problems like insulin resistance, leptin resistance and glucose intolerance.

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.