Drug Addiction, Overeating Fueled By Same Dopamine Receptors

Monday, March 29, 2010 - 11:22 in Health & Medicine

Type 2 dopamine receptors (D2DR)—brain receptors that play a key role in addiction--also play a key role in rats' heightened response to food, according to Scripps Insititute Neuroscientists. The findings suggest that the same brain mechanisms that fuel drug addiction in humans may also accompany the emergence of compulsive eating behaviors and the development of obesity. The study was published today in Nature Neuroscience. When investigators gave rats access to varying levels of high-fat foods, they found unrestricted availability alone can trigger addiction-like responses in the brain, leading to compulsive eating behaviors and the onset of obesity. read more

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