Brookhaven Lecture

"427th Brookhaven Lecture: 'Overeating Behavior: Is It Similar to Drug Addiction?'"

Presented by Gene-Jack Wang, M.D., Medical Department

Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 4:00 pm — Berkner Hall Auditorium

<html><p>The increasing number of obese individuals in the U.S. and other countries world-wide adds urgency to the need to understand the mechanisms underlying pathological overeating. Research by the speaker and others at Brookhaven National Laboratory and elsewhere is compiling evidence that the brain circuits disrupted in obesity are similar to those involved in drug addiction. Using positron emission tomography (PET), the speaker and his colleagues have implicated brain dopamine in the normal and the pathological intake of food by humans.</p> <p>During the 427th Brookhaven Lecture, speaker will review the findings and implications of PET studies of obese subjects and then compare them to PET research involving drug-addicted individuals. For example, in pathologically obese subjects, it was found that reductions in striatal dopamine D2 receptors are similar to those observed in drug-addicted subjects. The speaker and his colleagues have postulated that decreased levels of dopamine receptors predisposed subjects to search for strongly rewarding reinforcers, be it drugs for the drug-addicted or food for the obese, as a means to compensate for decreased sensitivity of their dopamine-regulated reward circuits.</p> <p>As the speaker will summarize, multiple but similar brain circuits involved in reward, motivation, learning and inhibitory control are disrupted both in drug addiction and obesity, resulting in the need for a multimodal approach to the treatment of obesity.</p></html>

Hosted by: Brant Johnson and Fulvia Pilat

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