Scientists advocate ``obesity is a neurodevelopmental disease''

Obesity has increased rapidly in recent years and is one of the biggest causes of poor health affecting 2 billion people worldwide. From research on obesity and genes, experts have proposed that ``obesity should be classified as a

neurodevelopmental disorder derived from childhood brain development.''

Sex-specific epigenetic development in the mouse hypothalamic arcuate nucleus pinpoints human genomic regions associated with body mass index | Science Advances

Scientists propose obesity is a neurodevelopmental disorder | BCM

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In a study published in September 2022 in the scientific journal Science Advances, a research team led by Harry McKay of Baylor College of Medicine in the United States reported that the mouse brain controls food intake, physical activity, and metabolism. We investigated the area called the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus where

As a result, it was found that the developing arcuate nucleus undergoes epigenetic changes, that is, a phenomenon in which gene expression changes without changing the gene sequence. This means that if the arcuate nucleus does not grow well in childhood, it may become difficult to regulate body weight in adulthood.

“We found that the arcuate nucleus undergoes epigenetic maturation in the early postnatal period,” McKay said. It is suggested that the effect on growth may be a result of the dysregulation of epigenetic maturation found here.'

Furthermore, when the research team analyzed the epigenetic data found in the mouse arcuate nucleus in comparison with the human genome data, the region of the genome undergoing epigenetic maturation in the mouse arcuate nucleus and the degree of obesity It was found to overlap with regions of the human genome associated with

This finding particularly surprised the researchers, and the research team said in their paper, ``This association suggests that the risk of obesity in humans is partly determined by the epigenetic development of the arcuate nucleus. suggested,” he concludes. The research team also found that the changes found this time occurred earlier in women than in men, and women were more precocious in this regard.

'Our study provides new evidence that developmental epigenetics likely play a role in both childhood environmental and genetic influences on obesity risk,' McKay said. Therefore, prevention efforts targeting developmental processes may be key to combating obesity in the future.”

in Science, Posted by log1l_ks