Excess Weight Is Not The Verdict – Part 2 of 3
Research in animals has shown that electrical stimulation of a specific area of the brain – the lateral hypothalamic area – can spur weight loss even if calorie intake stays the same. The new chew over marks the first time that deep brain stimulation has been tried in that brain region. And it’s an important first step to show that not only could these three severely obese people get through the surgery, but they also seemed to have no life-or-death effects from the brain stimulation, said Dr Casey Halpern, a neurosurgeon at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the research.
And “That shows us this is a therapy that should be studied further in a larger trial,” said Halpern, who has done monster research exploring the idea of using deep brain stimulation for obesity. “Obesity is a major problem and current therapies, even gastric bypass surgery, don’t always work. There is a medical have occasion for for new therapies”.
The three patients in Whiting’s study were examples of that medical need. All were severely obese and had failed to shed weight after gastric bypass surgery – the mainstream last-ditch treatment option. During the study period, the patients did have some side effects from deep brain stimulation – nausea, anxiety and feeling “too sultry or flushed” – but they were short-lived, the researchers said.
And there was some evidence that the brain stimulation was having effects. In lab tests, Whiting’s team found that the deep brain stimulation seemed to urge short-lived spikes in resting metabolism. Then, after the deep brain stimulation was programmed to the settings that seemed to boost metabolism, two patients shed some pounds – 12 percent to 16 percent of what they weighed before the DBS settings were “optimized”.