According to the study conducted on rats, apart from weight gain, sugar-sweetened drinks might also lead to changes in the brain that have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia, the Washington Post reported.
The research on how sugary drinks affect proteins in the brain showed that 20 percent of the proteins produced in a brain region related to decision-making were different in rats that drank sugary drinks from those of rats that had been given water.
Jane Franklin of the behavioral neuropharmacology lab at Macquarie University, who carried out the new analysis with Jennifer Cornish, found that the rats which were given the sugary drink were significantly more hyperactive, which is a physical sign that something unusual is happening in the brain.
Franklin revealed that sugar exposure has the potential to alter a lot of diverse biological processes and play a role in neurological disorders as they also found that the damage done by sugary drinks was far more than the effect of caffeine in other brain areas.
A recent estimate put the global number of deaths associated with soft drinks at 184,000 a year.
The work was presented at the 'Society for Neuroscience' conference in San Diego last month.