Neurons from extremely obese people could lead to personalized treatment

Neurons from extremely obese people could lead to personalized treatment

Project Description

Research led by Dhruv Sareen at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is examining cells from people who are extremely obese in hopes of finding “weight-related dysfunction” and “giving science an active tool to better understand one of the single largest determinants of health in the world.” The team’s research findings were published Thursday in Cell Stem Cell. The researchers “took blood and skin samples from people whose body mass indexes were 50 or higher … and from people with what’s considered a healthier BMI, 25,” and then they “reprogrammed cells from those samples to a more stem cell-like state,” and “bathed them in different molecules that would convince them to become hypothalamic neurons.”

This is an interesting approach.  The area in the brain which is triggered by the operation of gastric bypass or gastric sleeve is called the hypothalamus.  The prevailing theory says that although science cannot pinpoint the trigger molecule or hormone, the immediate effect of altering the anatomy inside the abdomen is activation of the hypothalamus.  The two operations somehow each stimulate the tiny hypothalamus differently, and then each trigger further changes in the brain which differ, but both are responsible for the weight loss which results.  It appears that the brain causes the weight loss, not the organs inside the abdomen! 

When you consider this information, the cellular experimentation that is being investigated at Cedars-Sinai doesn’t seem so crazy.  Maybe they will find an answer and be able to reproduce surgical weight loss without having to perform abdominal surgery! 

Stay tuned……..

Best in Health,

Dr Bertha and the Team at NJBI