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Science links obesity to the brain as a primary cause

  • 1 Min To Read
  • 4 months ago

In recent years, the understanding of obesity has evolved, with doctors now recognizing it as a disease rather than simply a matter of self-discipline. Approximately 42% of adults in the United States are living with obesity, a condition that is notoriously difficult to manage. Traditional approaches that focus on self-discipline and the simple mantra of "eat less, move more" have shown grim results, with most individuals regaining a significant amount of weight within a few years.

However, a new frontier of brain-based therapies has kindled hope among patients and doctors alike. These therapies, ranging from GLP-1 agonist drugs to deep brain stimulation, target the brain's reward and appetite centers in an effort to correct the underlying neurological issues that contribute to obesity. While there is controversy surrounding these treatments due to their cost and potential side effects, many experts agree that the brain is a crucial organ that has been overlooked in the battle against obesity.

Research has revealed that individuals with obesity may have broken or impaired brain circuits and pathways related to hunger, fullness, and cravings. For example, some studies suggest that people with obesity lack receptors for the feel-good brain chemical dopamine, leading to overeating in pursuit of pleasure. Other research indicates that gut-brain signaling that tells us we're full may be impaired in individuals with obesity.

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