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News about clinical research: trials, studies, case reports, etc.

Responsive neurostimulation system assessed in obesity study

Researchers from Stanford University are assessing ability of responsive neurostimulation system (RNS) to alter the activity of the brain area involved in experiencing pleasure from food. The RNS, which has showed success in a trial using mice, is now about to go into a clinical trial involving six humans with morbid obesity.

SECISBP2 and the mechanisms of obesity-induced insulin resistance

A research team at the LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed), has discovered the potentials of a SECISBP2 protein in adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) as a therapeutic biomarker in the treatment of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, cardiovascular diseases and cancers caused by obesity-induced insulin resistance.

High-fat diet and gut bacteria associated with insulin resistance

A growing body of research supports that during obesity, the immune system is often responding to components of bacteria that ‘leak’ through the intestinal tissue and results in inflammation. In turn, inflammation can drive insulin resistance, which predisposes people to diabetes.

Positive results from setmelanotide in deficiency obesities

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutics for the treatment of rare genetic disorders of obesity, has announced positive results from two pivotal, Phase 3 clinical trials evaluating setmelanotide, the company’s melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) agonist, for the treatment of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency obesities.

Intuitive acquires Schölly Fiberoptic’s robotic endoscope business

Intuitive Surgical has announced the acquisition of Schölly Fiberoptic’s robotic endoscope business and that it will integrate Schölly’s robotic endoscope manufacturing line, and two Schölly sites into its operations. Intuitive will integrate into its team approximately 200 staff from these three sites over the next 18 months.

Effectiveness of neuromodulation to treat obesity linked to genetics

Researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil assessing transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive neuromodulation technique that can help reduce appetite, food intake and body weight but only in some subjects, have reported that a patient's genetic profile appears to be a key factor in determining the outcome.  The paper, ‘Appetite effects of prefrontal stimulation depend on COMT Val158Met polymorphi

Infusion of three hormones aids weight loss in patients with obesity

A small study examining the effects of subcutaneous infusion of three hormones - glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), oxyntomodulin (OXM) and peptide YY (PYY) collectively known as ‘GOP’ - on glycaemia and body weight has report that patients lost on average 4.4kg and the treatment led to substantial improvements to their blood glucose, with some patients' reducing to near-normal levels.

Women more likely to use post-op contraception after counselling

A study from the Netherlands examining contraceptive use pre- and post-operatively in women who underwent bariatric surgery has reported that 60% of women are using safe contraception post-operatively. However, only 62.6% of patients recall receiving contraceptive counselling but, the investigators noted, they were more likely to use safe contraception after surgery. Therefore, the authors recommended more counselling and monitoring in the post-operative and outpatient setting.

Whole body vibration can reduce inflammation in diabetes

Whole body vibration appears to improve how well our body uses glucose as an energy source and adjust our microbiome and immune cells to deter inflammation, according to researchers from Medical College of Georgia and Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. For the first time, they have described how regular use of whole body vibration can create this healthier mix by yielding a greater percentage of macrophages - cells that can both promote or prevent inflammation - that suppress rather than promote.

ATS publishes clinical guideline on obesity hypoventilation syndrome

The American Thoracic Society has published an official clinical guideline on the evaluation and management of obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) - a breathing disorder that affects some people with obesity causing them to have too much carbon dioxide and too little oxygen in their blood. Medically, OHS is defined by the combination of obesity (BMI>30), sleep-disordered breathing and awake daytime hypercapnia (awake resting partial pressure of arterial CO2 or PaCO2 >45mmHg at sea level), after excluding other causes for hypoventilation.

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