Brain Circuit Regulation May Help with Obesity

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The World Health Organization recognized obesity as an epidemic that has plagued people worldwide. People with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 are considered obese and the ones with BMI over 25 are overweight. Obesity is one of the most common conditions that put people at risk of developing cardiovascular issues, strokes, and other health issues. People across the world have been desperately trying to overcome the problem and scientists have also been putting efforts into coming up with a solution. What if we tell you that a recent study may provide us with a ray of hope?

Brain Circuit & Obesity 

According to a study published in Science Advances called “A hindbrain dopaminergic neural circuit prevents weight gain by reinforcing food satiation”, a circuit in the brain may have the capability of suppressing hunger and helping with the issue of obesity. Here is what the authors have to say about the study:

"Many people struggle with weight control, eating more than what the body needs, which adds extra pounds that can lead to obesity and higher risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes,"

Han, the first author of the study said, "Other brain circuits have been proposed to regulate feeding, but the one we discovered is the first to be fully described to regulate portion size via dopamine signaling,"
"Our new study shows that a circuit connecting neurons that produce dopamine, a chemical messenger previously known for the regulation of motivation and pleasure, has a new role in the control of feeding through dynamically regulating the satiety response.", he added.

Wu, the corresponding author of the study said, "Our finding that MPH suppresses feeding and reduces body weight in laboratory mice by strengthening the dopamine-supported novel circuit we discovered, suggests a potential off-label application of a class of MPH and derivatives in tackling obesity,"

“This also has implications for the future development of circuitry-based precision medicine that can deliver weight-reducing results with higher safety and effectiveness.", he added.

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