Friday, January 6, 2012

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Study Shows that Obesity Induced Brain Changes May be The Reason Why Weight Control is So Hard.

Online Health Expert Medical News Report: Weight Control in Obese Individuals Linked to Brain Changes due to Obesity.

Previously, an Australian study had shown that Rebound weight gain after dieting results from a homeostatic interplay of changes in weight regulating hormones.

Now, a new study reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Dr. Michael W. Schwartz, professor of medicine at the University of Washington are reporting how rodents and humans with diet-induced obesity have structural changes in their hypothalamus, an area in the brain, which controls body weight among many other functions. Body weight is regulated by a rather complex set of interactions between hormones and brain cells (neurons). There is a growing belief among researchers that these interactions, in most obese people, "conspire" to prevent long-term weight loss, and the underlying mechanisms are increasingly investigated by neuroendocrinologists.

Dr. Schwartz told the press:

"To explain a biologically elevated body weight 'set-point', investigators in the field have speculated about the existence of fundamental changes to brain neurocircuits that control energy balance. Our findings are the first to offer direct evidence of such a structural change, and they include evidence in humans as well as in mice and rats."

In a second study published in the same issue of the journal, another team of researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey Flier, of  Harvard Medical School, Boston,  reported that turnover of nerve cells in the hypothalamus of mice is inhibited by obesity, adding further weight to the argument that physiology, rather than lapsing back to old eating habits, could be the reason for weight regain following a period of successful weight loss in obese people.

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