Compulsive eaters and people addicted to dopamine or alcohol exhibit the same activities in brain regions associated with reward mechanisms, a study soon to be published in the journal of Archives of General Psychiatry reveals.
About 40 young women participants ranging in size from lean to obese were tested using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, then examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while being shown images of chocolate milkshake and a glass of water. The women were then allowed to taste the milkshake or a solution similar in taste to saliva afterwards, to further test brain activity.
The results revealed that showing the milkshake image activated the brain reward circuitry in the brain in most participants, with those with higher food addiction showing more brain activity than others. A surprising finding is the lesser activity noted in the subject’s brains when they milkshake or saliva solution were administered.P
Picture credit: c.a.s.e.y