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Increased Vulnerability to Alcohol Abuse after Gastric Bypass: Neural Mechanisms

Thanos | Hajnal
Researchers will investigate the potential neurological causes of increased propensity for alcohol use disorders by individuals who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.

Obesity and its associated health consequences are among the main causes of preventable death. At present, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is a commonly performed and very effective method to achieve significant, long-term weight loss and to treat associated comorbidities. However, in contrast to improved food preferences and reduced food cravings following RYGB, clinical reports have revealed a concern for patients developing an increased risk for alcohol consumption. The central hypothesis at test is that RYGB increases preference for and intake of alcohol based on its increased rewarding effects, and in turn, poses an increased risk for development of addiction. Regarding the underlying mechanism, we propose that this effect is due to alleviated obesity-related deficits in the brain dopamine systems due to yet unknown unique effects of surgery, i.e., independent of weight loss or post-surgical change of diets.

Co-Principal Investigators
Panayotis (Peter) K. Thanos, PhD

Research Institute on Addictions

Andras Hajnal, MD, PhD
Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center

Funding Agency
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Grant Number
R21-AA024490

Dates
2016-18