OBESE volunteers will get an electric shock when they think about binge-eating in a new medical trial.
Electrodes are to be implanted in their brains so they can be zapped when they feel compelled to over-eat.
US scientists say experiments on overweight mice show it is possible to identify brain signals that trigger over-eating and administer electric shocks to stop it.
Food-bingeing by the mice was reduced by 75 per cent. Researchers at California’s Stanford University are still seeking human volunteers.
They say the human guinea pigs’ brain activity will be studied for months before the shocks are turned on to ensure they can accurately detect when patients crave unhealthy food. Study leader Dr Casey Halpern said: “We don’t know what a binge looks like or what food craving looks like in a human — so we need to define that first.”
The technology used to record and stimulate brain activity was originally developed to treat epilepsy.
Electrodes are inserted into a specific area of the brain, with a tiny computer and battery implanted into the skull.
The entire system is neatly packaged and invisible from the outside.
most read in health
Prostitute who earns £2,000 a week reveals the average penis size … and how much she enjoys work
HOW TO ACHOOOO
From your sleeve to your hands, we reveal how to catch a sneeze WITHOUT spreading germs
The study will focus on the nucleus accumbens, which is known as the brain’s pleasure centre and is involved in feelings of reward and addiction.
Studies show people who are obese have more activity in this region in response to images of high-calorie foods.
Patients must be morbidly obese, with a BMI greater than 45 and not have lost weight from previous treatment.
- GOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org