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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.

Plasma leptin concentrations are not limited to the brain

Yale researchers have offered insight into leptin - a hormone that plays a key role in appetite, overeating and obesity - heir findings advance knowledge about leptin and weight gain, and also suggest a potential strategy for developing future weight-loss treatments, they said.

Dietary fats, the brain and the link between obesity and depression

Obesity and depression have long been linked, with previous clinical studies finding an association between these two conditions. However, until now, the mechanisms of how obesity affects depression and vice versa have not been fully understood. A study led by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the Gladstone Institutes, has demonstrated the links between the consumption of diets high in saturated fats that lead to obesity and the development of depression phenotypes.

New regulating body weight brain mechanism discovered

Researchers at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have clarified the link between the molecule interleukine-6 (IL-6) in the brain and obesity, following experiments on rats and mice, which showed that the molecule does affect the risk of obesity, and also where this effect occurs in the brain. IL-6 is a well-known proinflammatory molecule and an integral element of body's first line of defence during infection. Intriguingly, the brain may govern and utilise IL-6 differently from the rest of the body.

Obesity associated with differences in form and structure of the brain

Researchers using sophisticated MRI technology have found that higher levels of body fat are associated with differences in the brain's form and structure, including smaller volumes of grey matter, according to a study published in the journal Radiology. The findings add important information to our understanding of the connection between obesity and negative health consequences such as dementia.

How the brain influences our eating habits and weight gain

Two separate teams of researchers have identified how genes involved in neural development can affect body weight and how brain cells involved in memory play an important role after a meal in reducing future eating behaviour. The first team – led by investigators at the University of Cambridge and Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have pinpointed a set of molecules that wire the body weight centre of the brain.

The gut or the brain and regulating appetite and metabolism

Whether gut or brain hormones are more important for the regulation of appetite and metabolism is not clearly defined. Imbalances in the control of appetite and metabolism can lead to obesity and diabetes, which have a negative impact on people's health and healthcare costs.

Mouse study reveals how urge to eat overpowers a signal to stop

A new study exploring the mystery of why when you are full, some people continue eating, has found that two tiny clusters of cells battle for control of feeding behaviour - and the one that drives eating overpowers the one that says to stop. It also shows that the brain's own natural opioid system gets involved - and that blocking it with the drug naloxone can stop over-eating. Although the researchers studied mice, they do note that the findings could help inform the fight against the global obesity epidemic.

Tailoring behavioural therapy for depression and obesity

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in collaboration with their colleagues at Stanford University and the University of Washington, will look at how an integrated behavioural therapy aimed at helping people with co-occurring obesity and depression can be adapted for individuals based on how their brain function changes in response to the intervention. They will study whether changes in brain function predict the effect of the intervention on health behaviours, as well as weight and depression outcomes.

Researchers link obesity, the brain and genetics

Clinicians should consider how the way we think can make us vulnerable to obesity, and how obesity is genetically intertwined with brain structure and mental performance, according to new research by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro). The study was an examination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cognitive test data from 1,200 individuals, supplied as part of the Human Connectome Project.

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