Freezing the ‘Hunger Nerve’ May Help Weight Loss

A new weight loss study being conducted by doctors uses gas to freeze a nerve in the back that sends hunger signals to the brain, reducing the patient’s appetite and aiding weight loss.

Hunger Nerve

According to a new study, freezing the hunger nerve may promote weight loss. Photo by News Health

This study was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, that included ten people with obesity and a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 37.

“We developed this treatment for patients with mild-to-moderate obesity to reduce the attrition that is common with weight-loss efforts,” said Dr. David Prologo, the study’s lead author and an interventional radiologist at Emory University School of Medicine. “We are trying to help people succeed with their own attempts to lose weight.”

During the study, women and men were put under sedation while doctors inserted a needle into their backs controlled by a CT scan. The needle was guided to the posterior vagal trunk, then the needle and surrounding nerve was froze. The procedure corrupts part of the nerve connected to the brain and stops the connection between the two. The process is painless and only takes 30 minutes.

All of the patients reported a decrease in appetite. The average weight loss was 3.6 percent after 90 days and the average loss of excess BMI was 14 percent.

Many weight loss programs fail because they are hard to follow and people just have trouble controlling their appetite. With this nerve-freezing study, the hunger signal to the brain can be weakened, providing a solution to mild obesity.

This is not a permanent procedure, however. The nerve will fully grow back in one year and to follow up on this study, more subjects will have to be tested in a clinical trial

Source: Lardieri, A. “New Weight Loss Procedure Freezes Hunger Nerves to Brain” 21 March 2018 www.usnews.com

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice