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Enhanced activation of reward-mediating prefrontal regions in response to food stimuli in prader-willi syndrome.

Miller JL, James GA, Goldstone AP, Couch JA, He G, Driscoll DJ, Liu Y J

Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2006 Dec 8

Appetite in humans is controlled by specific brain pathways. They comprise of the hypothalamus, the frontal cortex, the insula, the limbic and paralimbic regions. The researchers proposed that increased appetite in individuals with PWS occurred as a result of disturbed reward processing of food stimuli in the above mentioned regions. Using functional MRI (fMRI) they studied blood oxygen dependent responses the subjects were devided into two groups each receiving oral glucose. They were shown pictures of food and their responses were measured. Individuals with PWS a far greater response in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex when compared to the control group (Normal weight adults). The study suggests that there is a greater reward value for food in individuals with PWS. Furthermore, the frontal cortex plays a significant role in controlling one’s response to food. This study also supports the notion that neural pathways play a significant role in understanding the neural pathways and how they impact reward-related behavior.

Abstract - click here

edited: 02/09/2012

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