New study could lead to better obesity treatment

Written by Matt Paul and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 21, 2013 4:14 AM

(Hershey) -- Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey are investigating a new reason gastric bypass surgery is often effective in treating obesity.

In addition to restricting the size of the stomach, assistant professor Kirsteen Browning says the procedure changes the properties of nerve cells that regulate the digestive system.

"What appears to happen is that after the gastric bypass we are restoring the responsiveness of these nerves to these ongoing normal satiety signals, which is allowing them to function as they did before," Browning explains.

It's the first research demonstrating damage to such cells can be reversed -- so the gut can properly signal the brain that it's full.

Browning says a better understanding of these nerve cells could better identify potential candidates for bypass surgery, and help scientists develop new, non-surgical treatments for obesity.

The research is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Published in Hershey, News

Tagged under , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »