Hello again from the American Diabetes
Association’s 75th Scientific Sessions, the largest diabetes meeting in the world.
I’m Rhonda Anderson with another breaking news update from the
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Today we uncovered new research
on how one class of diabetes medications alters the brain’s response to food—
possibly reducing cravings and increasing satisfaction while eating.
This particular group of diabetes drugs, called GLP-1 receptor agonists,
is derived from gut hormones. These have also been shown
to reduce body weight, and researchers have been trying
to understand how. When you eat, several hormones
are released, sending information to the central nervous system
to regulate your appetite. GLP-1 is one of them, giving you
a sense of fullness. Previous studies have shown
that the brains of obese people have a greater response to pictures of food
than those of lean people. Their brains also have a reduced reward
response during the consumption of food, which may lead to overeating. So researchers in Amsterdam
tested the hypothesis that exenatides— a medication that mimics the effect of
that GLP-1 hormone found naturally in the body— was helping patients
with type 2 diabetes lose weight by altering the brain’s response
to food consumption and decreasing appetite. Using functional MRIs,
which measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow,
they looked at the reward centers in the brains of obese people
with and without type 2 diabetes. They measured the response
to the anticipation of and drinking of chocolate milk
while being given GLP-1 receptor agonist intravenously, versus a placebo.
The scientists found that the medication decreased anticipatory food reward,
which may reduce cravings, and increased the feeling of food reward
during consumption, which may reduce overeating.
Further study is needed to learn about the mechanisms by which
these reward centers are activated And other hormones may come into play here.
With obesity on the rise, fueling an epidemic of type 2 diabetes,
these will certainly be important areas of study. There is also one side note
about this study: the researchers are also interested
in determining if GLP-1 receptor agonists can alter cravings for drugs,
alcohol and nicotine in humans, offering a possible treatment
for substance abuse. To view this press release online, visit
the “Newsroom” section of our website, diabetes.org. I’ll be back soon with more of the latest news
and research from the American Diabetes Association’s 75th Scientific Sessions.
Be sure to stay tuned to diabetes.org/ultimasnoticias and on our social media channels, use hashtag
#2015ADA. I’m Rhonda Anderson in Boston.