Brain implant could help fight obesity

Not surprisingly, scientists trying the curb the obesity epidemic are focusing on the brain.  After all, it’s what triggers your hunger and can be what controls the urge to overeat. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine are taking a new approach—they’ve found that a stimulation device implanted in the brains of mice can reduce their binge eating.

The study involves implanting the device that sends targeted electrical impulses to different parts of the brain.  The researchers fired the electrical stimuli into the nuclear accumbens, a small part of the brain linked to addictive behaviors, including binge eating.  It’s part of the brain's reward system, which could explain a person's drive to overeat.

The stimulation was used to activate the dopamine type-2 receptor in this part of the brain. Binge eating and obesity-related behavior have been linked to deficits in dopamine.

If the studies on the brain implant continue to progress, this could eventually be seen as an alternative to bariatric surgery, as it carries a much lower risk of complications.

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Sourced from: Live Science, Battling Obesity ... with a Brain Implant?