Navigation Links
Our brains on food: From anorexia to obesity and everything in between
Date:4/3/2012

CHICAGO, IL April 3, 2012 The brains of people with anorexia and obesity are wired differently, according to new research. Neuroscientists for the first time have found that how our brains respond to food differs across a spectrum of eating behaviors from extreme overeating to food deprivation. This study is one of several new approaches to help better understand and ultimately treat eating disorders and obesity.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. And more than two-thirds of the U.S. population are overweight or obese a health factor associated with cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and cancer. "This body of work not only increases our understanding of the relationship between food and brain function but can also inform weight loss programs," says Laura Martin of Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, one of several researchers whose work being presented today at a meeting of cognitive neuroscientists in Chicago.

"One of the most intriguing aspects of these studies of the brain on food," Martin says, is that they show "consistent activations of reward areas of the brain that are also implicated in studies of addiction." However, how those reward areas respond to food differs between people depending on their eating behaviors, according to the new brain imaging study by Laura Holsen of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital and colleagues.

Holsen's team conducted fMRI brain scans of individuals with one of three eating conditions anorexia nervosa, simple obesity, and Prader-Willi syndrome (extreme obesity) as well as healthy control subjects. When hungry, those with anorexia, who severely restrict their food intake, showed substantially decreased responses to various pictures of food in regions of their brains associated with reward and pleasure. For those who chronically overeat, there were significantly increased responses in those same brain regions.

"Our findings provide evidence of an overall continuum relating food intake behavior and weight outcomes to food reward circuitry activity," Holsen says. Her work also has implications, she says, for everyday eating decisions in healthy individuals. "Even in individuals who do not have eating disorders, there are areas of the brain that assist in evaluating the reward value of different foods, which in turn plays a role in the decisions we make about which foods to eat."

Kyle Simmons of the Laureate Institute studies the neural mechanisms that govern such everyday eating decisions. His work with fMRI scans has found that as soon as people see food, their brains automatically gather information about how they think it will taste and how that will make them feel. The brain scans showed an apparent overlap in the region on the insula that responds to seeing food pictures and the region of the insula that processes taste, the "primary gustatory cortex."

Simmons is currently expanding this work to better understand the differences in taste preferences between lean, healthy individuals and obese ones. "We simply don't know yet if differences exist between lean and obese participants," he says. "And knowing which brain regions underlie inferences about food taste and reward is critical if we are going to develop efficacious interventions for obesity and certain eating disorders, both of which are associated with enormous personal and public health costs."

The symposium "The Brain on Food: Investigations of motivation, dopamine and eating behaviors" takes place on April 3, 2012, at the 19th annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS). More than 1400 scientists are attending the meeting in Chicago, IL, from March 31 to April 3, 2012. Follow CNS 2012 on Twitter (@CogNeuroNews) and read our blog cogneurosociety2012.blogspot.com for more news from the meeting.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lisa M.P. Munoz
cns.publicaffairs@gmail.com
703-951-7331
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pro Athletes Brains React at Olympic Speed
2. iPhone Memory Aid for Scatterbrains, Aging Baby Boomers and Busy, Forgetful People
3. MessageSolution First in the Market to Offer All-in-One, Integrated Cloud-Based Archiving for Email, File Systems and SharePoint at Novell BrainShare 2010
4. Scientists Tweak Subjects Brains to Alter Their Moral Choices
5. SharpBrains Launches First Brain Fitness Innovation Awards to Recognize Neuroplasticity Pioneers
6. Morphine May Protect Brains of People With HIV
7. SKyPRO Releases Public Beta of GWTalk at BrainShare
8. Blood flows differently through the brains of schizophrenic patients
9. Adolescent brains biologically wired to engage in risky behavior, study finds
10. Gay mens bilateral brains better at remembering faces: York U study
11. Tool manipulation is represented similarly in the brains of the blind and the sighted
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... Advanced Spine & ... cells” and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections. “These are becoming the ‘go-to’ treatment ... D.C., of Advanced Spine & Sport Medical. “We are very excited to be ...
(Date:5/1/2016)... Santa Rosa, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 01, 2016 , ... ... pioneer in the medical marijuana industry, has put the law in the hands ... cannabis. On January 1, 2016, California voted to allow counties to vote on ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... The ... , a program to critically evaluate and rank health-focused applications and connected devices ... to provide independent, unbiased and accurate information to help accelerate patient and provider ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWEB) , ... April 30, 2016 , ... ... USA Wrestling as they go for gold in Rio. Under the care of ... including two golds! , In an unprecedented showing, Maximized Living is sending the largest ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Memorial ... for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that it has received accreditation for its residency ... of three residency programs that Memorial is currently pursuing, including Pediatrics and Internal ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... DELHI , April 27, 2016 ... CSR initiative to save newborns   ... hospital for women & newborns in collaboration with Breast Milk ... launched the first Pasteurized Human Milk Bank, ,Amaara, in Delhi-NCR ... best nutritional food source for infants and should be available ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016 ... the  "Global Anesthesia Disposables Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) ,The global anesthesia disposables market ... of 4.03% during the period 2016-2020.  ... threat to patients, safety. Organizations like the ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 The global  gamma ... billion by 2022, according to a new report ... towards a healthy lifestyle is expected to drive ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) , ... health treatment expenditure has urged consumers to switch ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: