A neural circuit in our brains which governs compulsive overeating has been identified.
A study in the journal Cell says there is a reward-related area in the brains of mice which specifically controls compulsive sugar consumption.
“Although obesity and Type 2 diabetes are major problems in our society, many treatments do not tackle the primary cause: unhealthy eating habits,” says Kay Tye of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“Our findings are exciting because they raise the possibility that we could develop a treatment that selectively curbs compulsive overeating without altering healthy eating behaviour.”
Compulsive overeating is a type of reward-seeking behaviour similar to drug addiction.
The researchers were about to inhibit a brain pathway and reduce compulsive sugar-seeking without decreasing food consumption in hungry mice.