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Deep brain stimulation as a therapeutic option for obesity: A critical review.

Deep brain stimulation as a therapeutic option for obesity: A critical review.
Author Information (click to view)

Bétry C, Thobois S, Laville M, Disse E,


Bétry C, Thobois S, Laville M, Disse E, (click to view)

Bétry C, Thobois S, Laville M, Disse E,

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Obesity research & clinical practice 2018 02 20() pii S1871-403X(18)30054-1
Abstract

Despite a better understanding of obesity pathophysiology, treating this disease remains a challenge. New therapeutic options are needed. Targeting the brain is a promising way, considering both the brain abnormalities in obesity and the effects of bariatric surgery on the gut-brain axis. Deep brain stimulation could be an alternative treatment for obesity since this safe and reversible neurosurgical procedure modulates neural circuits for therapeutic purposes. We aimed to provide a critical review of published clinical and preclinical studies in this field. Owing to the physiology of eating and brain alterations in people with obesity, two brain areas, namely the hypothalamus and the nucleus accumbens are putative targets. Preclinical studies with animal models of obesity showed that deep brain stimulation of hypothalamus or nucleus accumbens induces weight loss. The mechanisms of action remain to be fully elucidated. Preclinical data suggest that stimulation of nucleus accumbens reduces food intake, while stimulation of hypothalamus could increase resting energy expenditure. Clinical experience with deep brain stimulation for obesity remains limited to six patients with mixed results, but some clinical trials are ongoing. Thus, drawing clear conclusions about the effectiveness of this treatment is not yet possible, even if the results of preclinical studies are encouraging. Future clinical studies should examine its efficacy and safety, while preclinical studies could help understand its mechanisms of action. We hope that our review will provide ways to design further studies.

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