23 research outputs found

    Food addiction and obesity: unnecessary medicalization of hedonic overeating

    No full text
    The concept of addiction is loaded with connotations and often used for its political as much as its medical utility. The scientific case for ‘food addiction’ as a clinical phenotype currently rests on its association with generic diagnostic criteria for substance-related disorders applied to everyday foods and eating-related problems. This has fused the concept of obesity with addiction regardless of whether it fits the definition. The hedonic/reward system can account for ingestion of foods and drugs, confirming that they share neural substrates that differentiate liking and wanting. These are normal processes recruited for natural homeostatic behaviours and can explain the phenomenon of hedonic overeating as a consequence of human motivation pushed to extremes by an obesogenic environment. Food addiction constitutes a medicalization of common eating behaviour, taking on the properties of a disease. Use of this medical language has implications for the way in which society views overeating and obesity

    Using DTI to assess white matter microstructure in cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) in multicentre studies

    Get PDF
    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics such as fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) have been proposed as clinical trial markers of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) due to their associations with outcomes such as cognition. However, studies investigating this have been predominantly single-centre. As clinical trials are likely to be multisite, further studies are required to determine whether associations with cognition of similar strengths can be detected in a multicentre setting. One hundred and nine patients (mean age =68 years) with symptomatic lacunar infarction and confluent white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on MRI was recruited across six sites as part of the PRESERVE DTI substudy. After handling missing data, 3T-MRI scanning was available from five sites on five scanner models (Siemens and Philips), alongside neuropsychological and quality of life (QoL) assessments. FA median and MD peak height were extracted from DTI histogram analysis. Multiple linear regressions were performed, including normalized brain volume, WMH lesion load, and n° lacunes as covariates, to investigate the association of FA and MD with cognition and QoL. DTI metrics from all white matter were significantly associated with global cognition (standardized β =0.268), mental flexibility (β =0.306), verbal fluency (β =0.376), and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) (β =0.273). The magnitudes of these associations were comparable with those previously reported from single-centre studies found in a systematic literature review. In this multicentre study, we confirmed associations between DTI parameters and cognition, which were similar in strength to those found in previous single-centre studies. The present study supports the use of DTI metrics as biomarkers of disease progression in multicentre studies.This work was supported by the British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Association [grant number TSA BHF 2010/01]; the NIHR-funded Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre; the NIHR Senior Investigator Awards (for H.S.M., J.T.O. and G.A.F.); and the Cambridge University Hospitals NIHR Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (for H.S.M. and J.T.O.)

    Dopamine and Opioid Neurotransmission in Behavioral Addictions: A Comparative PET Study in Pathological Gambling and Binge Eating.

    Get PDF
    Although behavioral addictions share many clinical features with drug addictions, they show strikingly large variation in their behavioral phenotypes (such as in uncontrollable gambling or eating). Neurotransmitter function in behavioral addictions is poorly understood, but has important implications in understanding its relationship with substance use disorders and underlying mechanisms of therapeutic efficacy. Here, we compare opioid and dopamine function between two behavioral addiction phenotypes: pathological gambling (PG) and binge eating disorder (BED). Thirty-nine participants (15 PG, 7 BED, and 17 controls) were scanned with [11C]carfentanil and [18F]fluorodopa positron emission tomography using a high-resolution scanner. Binding potentials relative to non-displaceable binding (BPND) for [11C]carfentanil and influx rate constant (Ki) values for [18F]fluorodopa were analyzed with region-of-interest and whole-brain voxel-by-voxel analyses. BED subjects showed widespread reductions in [11C]carfentanil BPND in multiple subcortical and cortical brain regions and in striatal [18F]fluorodopa Ki compared with controls. In PG patients, [11C]carfentanil BPND was reduced in the anterior cingulate with no differences in [18F]fluorodopa Ki compared with controls. In the nucleus accumbens, a key region involved in reward processing, [11C]Carfentanil BPND was 30-34% lower and [18F]fluorodopa Ki was 20% lower in BED compared with PG and controls (p<0.002). BED and PG are thus dissociable as a function of dopaminergic and opioidergic neurotransmission. Compared with PG, BED patients show widespread losses of mu-opioid receptor availability together with presynaptic dopaminergic defects. These findings highlight the heterogeneity underlying the subtypes of addiction and indicate differential mechanisms in the expression of pathological behaviors and responses to treatment.This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant #256836), the Finnish Medical Foundation, the Finnish Alcohol Research Foundation and the Turku University Central Hospital (EVO grants). VV was supported by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship (093705/10/Z)

    Role of opioid receptors in the reinstatement of opioid-seeking behavior: an overview

    No full text
    Opioid abuse in humans is characterized by discontinuous periods of drug use and abstinence. With time, the probability of falling into renewed drug consumption becomes particularly high and constitutes a considerable problem in the management of heroin addicts. The major problem in the treatment of opioid dependence still remains the occurrence of relapse, to which stressful life events, renewed use of heroin, and exposure to drug-associated environmental cues are all positively correlated. To study the neurobiology of relapse, many research groups currently use the reinstatement animal model, which greatly contributed to disentangle the mechanisms underlying relapse to drug-seeking in laboratory animals. The use of this model is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, and new versions have been recently developed to better appreciate the differential contribution of each opioid receptor subtype to the relapse phenomenon. In this chapter we review the state of the art of our knowledge on the specific role of the opioid receptors as unrevealed by the reinstatement animal model of opioid-seeking behavior

    Involvement of Endogenous Enkephalins and β-Endorphin in Feeding and Diet-Induced Obesity

    No full text
    Studies implicate opioid transmission in hedonic and metabolic control of feeding, although roles for specific endogenous opioid peptides have barely been addressed. Here, we studied palatable liquid consumption in proenkephalin knockout (PENK KO) and β-endorphin-deficient (BEND KO) mice, and how the body weight of these mice changed during consumption of an energy-dense highly palatable ‘cafeteria diet’. When given access to sucrose solution, PENK KOs exhibited fewer bouts of licking than wild types, even though the length of bouts was similar to that of wild types, a pattern that suggests diminished food motivation. Conversely, BEND KOs did not differ from wild types in the number of licking bouts, even though these bouts were shorter in length, suggesting that they experienced the sucrose as being less palatable. In addition, licking responses in BEND, but not PENK, KO mice were insensitive to shifts in sucrose concentration or hunger. PENK, but not BEND, KOs exhibited lower baseline body weights compared with wild types on chow diet and attenuated weight gain when fed cafeteria diet. Based on this and related findings, we suggest endogenous enkephalins primarily set a background motivational tone regulating feeding behavior, whereas β-endorphin underlies orosensory reward in high need states or when the stimulus is especially valuable. Overall, these studies emphasize complex interplays between endogenous opioid peptides targeting μ-receptors, such as enkephalins and endorphins, underlying the regulation of feeding and body weight that might explain the poor efficacy of drugs that generally target μ-opioid receptors in the long-term control of appetite and body weight

    Studying food reward and motivation in humans

    Get PDF
    A key challenge in studying reward processing in humans is to go beyond subjective self-report measures and quantify different aspects of reward such as hedonics, motivation, and goal value in more objective ways. This is particularly relevant for the understanding of overeating and obesity as well as their potential treatments. In this paper are described a set of measures of food-related motivation using handgrip force as a motivational measure. These methods can be used to examine changes in food related motivation with metabolic (satiety) and pharmacological manipulations and can be used to evaluate interventions targeted at overeating and obesity. However to understand food-related decision making in the complex food environment it is essential to be able to ascertain the reward goal values that guide the decisions and behavioral choices that people make. These values are hidden but it is possible to ascertain them more objectively using metrics such as the willingness to pay and a method for this is described. Both these sets of methods provide quantitative measures of motivation and goal value that can be compared within and between individuals

    Time, action and psychosis: using subjective time to investigate the effects of ketamine on sense of agency

    Get PDF
    Sense of agency refers to the experience of initiating and controlling actions in order to influence events in the outside world. A disturbed sense of agency is found in certain psychiatric and neurological disorders, most notably schizophrenia. Sense of agency is associated with a subjective compression of time: actions and their outcomes are perceived as bound together in time. This is known as ‘intentional binding’ and, in healthy adults, depends partly on advance prediction of action outcomes. Notably, this predictive contribution is disrupted in patients with schizophrenia. In the present study we aimed to characterise the psychotomimetic effect of ketamine, a drug model for psychosis, on the predictive contribution to intentional binding. It was shown that ketamine produced a disruption that closely resembled previous data from patients in the early, prodromal, stage of schizophrenic illness. These results are discussed in terms of established models of delusion formation in schizophrenia. The link between time and agency, more generally, is also considered
    corecore