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Magy Seb. 2011 Dec;64(6):289-93. doi: 10.1556/MaSeb.64.2011.6.4.

[Functional MRI investigation of brain activity triggered by taste stimulation].

[Article in Hungarian]

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  • 1Pécsi Tudományegyetem Klinikai Központ Sebészeti Klinika, Pécs.



Many factors contribute to the pathogenesis of morbid obesity, and the central nervous system - as one of those - also has an important role. Numerous studies focus on the central regulation of eating and metabolism, since associated problems like obesity, anorexia, diabetes or metabolic syndrome put an increasing burden on the health system of modern societies. Neither the pathophysiologic changes, nor the normal regulation of these systems are known adequately. Functional MR (fMRI) imaging, which has certainly gained popularity recently, aims to better understand these mechanisms. In this series we studied the brain fMRI activity changes of normal and obese persons, triggered by gustatory stimulation.


10 obese and 10 normal weight healthy volunteers took part in the study, with comparable age and sex distribution. Gustatory stimulation was performed by 0.1 M sucrose (pleasant), 0.5 mM quinine HCl (unpleasant) and complex vanilla flavored (Nutridrink) solutions, which were administered through 0.5 mm PVC tubes, in 5-5 ml portions. For rinsing distilled water with neutral flavor was used. Imaging was performed in a 3T MRI, applying standard EPI sequences. Post processing of data was accomplished by FSL software package.


Brain activation for gustatory stimuli was characteristically different between the two groups. There were high intensity activations in more cortical and subcortical regions of the obese volunteers compared to the normal ones.


Our current fMRI investigations revealed different activations of numerous brain regions of normal and obese individuals, triggered by pleasant and unpleasant gustatory stimulation. Based on these results this method can help to recognize the role of the central nervous system in obesity, and may contribute to develop new therapies for weight loss.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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