Scientists say brain stimulation could combat obesity

An article tells of the potential for an obesity treatment that utilizes "deep brain stimulation."


In the August edition of Neurosurgery, the official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, an article tells of the potential for an obesity treatment that utilizes "deep brain stimulation" (DBS). 

DBS consists of surgically attaching an eletrode to the brain that disrupts the brain's normal functioning, and has been proven to be effective in managing symptoms of Parkinson's disease. It's also been shown that DBS may have positive effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder, addictions such as tobacco use and various other psychological ailments. Recently, Medical Express cited an article published in the American Journal of Psychiatry saying that DBS could also help treat Tourette's syndrome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American obesity epidemic cost the US $147 billion in healthcare expenses in 2008, and more than a third of Americans struggle with a severe weight problem. The condition is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, meaning excessive body fat could lead an individual to buy Actos at Canadian and international online pharmacies to treat their insulin deficiency.

In the article, lead author Alexander Tagha of Ohio State University and the University of Southern California notes that some chemical treatments for obesity come with dangerous side effect. Furthermore, bariatric surgery does not always produce the desired results. Earlier attempts at applying DBS to fight obesity focused on the hypothalamus, the source of the hormones that determine an individual's eating habits. However, these new findings relate to what the paper describes as the "relative imbalance" of the brain's "reward circuitry," which can theoretically be "turned off" by a small, high-frequency electrical pulse.

Scientists compare obesity to anorexia, finding opposite brain reactions

In more obesity and reward circuitry-related news, a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology looked into the possible connections, or lack thereof, between the brain chemistry of obese people and anorexics. WebMD states that anorexia, a disorder characterized by self-starvation due to an out-of-control fear of weight gain, can eventually cause heart and kidney problems, as well as osteoporosis for which an afflicted individual could buy Actonel or buy Fosamax.

Studying the mental reactions of 21 anorexics and 19 obese individuals to various stimuli, scientists determined that the brain response to anticipating a tasty reward is blunted in obese individuals, but enhanced in anorexics.