News | Neuro Imaging | December 05, 2017

Brain's Appetite Regulator Disrupted in Obese Teens

Researchers hope results will provide new tools to combat global public health crisis

Brain's Appetite Regulator Disrupted in Obese Teens

December 5, 2017 — Advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of obese adolescents found disrupted connectivity in the complex brain regions involving regulating appetite, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity has more than quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. It is estimated that more than one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or obese. Obesity in adolescence is associated with a number of health risks, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The study at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil included 59 obese adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18, and 61 healthy control adolescents matched for gender, age, socio-economicl classification and education level. The adolescents were classified by the World Health Organization criterion for obesity. They had no other known chronic diseases or conditions. The study participants underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the brain to evaluate white matter integrity.

DTI is a type of MRI exam that measures functional anisotropy (FA), the microscopic motion of water molecules within and surrounding the brain's white matter fibers. Low FA values indicate greater disruption within the white matter.

"DTI is a relatively new MRI technique not widely used in clinical diagnosis," said study author Pamela Bertolazzi, a biomedical scientist and Ph.D. student in the neuroimaging laboratory at the University of Sao Paulo.

The results showed loss of white matter integrity in several brain regions in the obese patients. Compared to the healthy controls, the brains of the obese adolescents showed a decrease in FA values in areas of the brain including the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, cingulate gyrus, fornix, insula, putamen, orbital gyrus and bilateral hypothalamus. Several of these regions are involved in appetite regulation, impulse control, emotions and reward and pleasure in eating.

"The data reveal a pattern of involvement among brain regions that are important in the control of appetite and emotions," Bertolazzi said. "There was no region of higher FA in obese patients compared to the control group," she added.

The researchers hope that these findings will offer new tools to combat this global public health crisis.

"Childhood obesity has increased 10 to 40 percent in the last 10 years in most countries," Bertolazzi said. "If we are able to identify the brain changes associated with obesity, this DTI technique could be used to help prevent obesity and avoid the complications associated with the condition."

Co-authors are Prof. Fabio Duran, Ph.D., Naomi Costa, Prof. Cristiane Kochi, Ph.D., Prof. Marilia Seelaender, Ph.D., Thaysa Neves, Ph.D., Elie Calfat, Ph.D., and Prof. Ricardo Riyoiti Uchida, Ph.D.

For more information: www.radiologyinfo.org

 

Read about other Key RSNA 2017 Study Presentations, Trends and Video.

Related Content

News | Neuro Imaging | November 14, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer’s disease, according...
Researchers Awarded 2018 Canon Medical Systems USA/RSNA Research Grants
News | Radiology Imaging | November 13, 2018
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education (R&E) Foundation recently announced the...
Subtle Medical Showcases Artificial Intelligence for PET, MRI Scans at RSNA 2018
News | Artificial Intelligence | November 13, 2018
At the 2018 Radiological Society of North America annual meeting (RSNA 2018), Nov. 25-30 in Chicago, Subtle Medical...
MaxQ AI Receives FDA Clearance for Accipio Ix Intracranial Hemorrhage Platform
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | November 07, 2018
MaxQ AI announced that its Accipio Ix intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) detection software has received 510(k) clearance...
This is the Siemens Magnetom Sola RT edition 1.5T MRI system optimized for radiation therapy displayed for the first time since gaining FDA clearance in 2018. It was displayed at the American Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 annual meeting. Read more about this system at ASTRO 2018. #ASTRO18 #ASTRO2018
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
This is the Siemens Magnetom Sola RT edition 1.5T MRI system optimized for...
Proton Therapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors Has Favorable Cognitive Outcomes
News | Proton Therapy | November 06, 2018
Proton therapy treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients is associated with better neurocognitive outcomes compared...
150-Year-Old Drug Might Improve Radiation Therapy for Cancer
News | Radiation Therapy | November 02, 2018
November 2, 2018 — A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant might make tumors more
SBRT Considered Safe Treatment Option for Patients With Multiple Metastases
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | November 01, 2018
The NRG Oncology clinical trial BR001 tested the hypothesis that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) could be used...