It has been found the first evidence of structural changes in the brains of rodents and humans suffering from obesity caused by diet. The finding could help explain one of the most disturbing aspects of weight control.
The well-known tendency to recover the extra kilos that were lost with exercise and proper diet is the biggest obstacle to successfully combat obesity.
Body weight is controlled by complex interactions between hormones and neurons in a brain region known as the hypothalamus. These interactions influence appetite and food intake and, in most obese people, act in a pernicious mode, which prevents weight loss is permanent.
As pointed out by Dr. Michael W. Schwartz, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, and one of the authors of the new study, one could say that the bodies of obese people defend their elevated body weight biologically. The neuro endocrinologists are intensely investigating the mechanism underlying this phenomenon.
To explain why the body strives at all costs to keep their excess weight, researchers in this field have speculated about the existence of fundamental changes in brain circuits that control energy balance. The team discovered by Dr. Schwartz provides direct evidence that structural change in humans and in mice and rats.
Schwartz and colleagues studied the results of a diet rich in fats in the brain of rats and mice that were bred to become obese by this diet. Researchers have found evidence of very early lesions and persistent in a specific part of the hypothalamus of these animals. Using brain scans also found telltale signs of similar damage in the same area of the brain in obese individuals.