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Metabolism. 2016 May;65(5):699-713. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2016.02.002. Epub 2016 Feb 6.

Central nervous system regulation of eating: Insights from human brain imaging.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215. Electronic address: ofarr@bidmc.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519; Department of Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520; Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520.
3
Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215.

Abstract

Appetite and body weight regulation are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS) in a rather complicated manner. The human brain plays a central role in integrating internal and external inputs to modulate energy homeostasis. Although homeostatic control by the hypothalamus is currently considered to be primarily responsible for controlling appetite, most of the available evidence derives from experiments in rodents, and the role of this system in regulating appetite in states of hunger/starvation and in the pathogenesis of overeating/obesity remains to be fully elucidated in humans. Further, cognitive and affective processes have been implicated in the dysregulation of eating behavior in humans, but their exact relative contributions as well as the respective underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We briefly review each of these systems here and present the current state of research in an attempt to update clinicians and clinical researchers alike on the status and future directions of obesity research.

KEYWORDS:

Brain; CNS; Eating; MRI; Obesity

PMID:
27085777
PMCID:
PMC4834455
DOI:
10.1016/j.metabol.2016.02.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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