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Deep Brain Stimulation Could Help Change Eating Behaviors in Morbidly Obese Patients
Date:6/13/2013

e is 100 pounds over his or her ideal body weight, has a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. BMI is the ratio of an individual’s height to his or her weight, with BMI between 20 and 25 considered to be the healthiest weight range.

“These patients have struggled for years to control their weight, without success,” said Dr. Oh. “We hoped to prove that we could safely alter metabolism with DBS and eventually provide another alternative for achieving a healthy weight for patients who could not do so through dieting and traditional weight loss surgery.”

With collaborators at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, Dr. Oh and his colleague [Donald Whiting, MD, arranged for the patients to undergo detailed metabolic studies over the course of five days. The metabolic studies enabled the physicians to pinpoint the optimal DBS settings for each patient.

Based on results of individually testing stimulation with a different electrical contact on the DBS leads each day, the researchers chose a stimulation regime that showed the greatest effect in raising resting metabolic rate. The rate was measured while the patients rested comfortably in an enclosed metabolic chamber where their respiration and related factors were analyzed.

The team measured each patient’s resting metabolic rate by averaging the several readings of the amount of calories burned while the patient was inactive. This baseline rate, calculated when the stimulator was off, was then compared with various readings taken while the stimulator was activated to determine how DBS changed the metabolic rate.

After nine months, one patient experienced a 9 percent increase in resting metabolic rate and reduced his weight by 16.4 percent. Another patient lost 12.3 percent of her weight after 11 months
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