About this Research Topic
The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with 60% of the population now overweight and over 30% classified as obese. Current strategies for the treatment of Obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus are not optimally effective, and even multiple drug combinations often fail to normalize glycemia and body weight in a sustained manner in the majority of treated subjects. Understanding how energy homeostasis is maintained and subsequently perturbed is of upmost importance, as the preponderance of data shows that dysregulation of energy and glucose balance underlies the development of atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, reproductive disorders and numerous types of cancers.
Over the past century, prevalent models of energy and glucose homeostasis have been developed from a better understanding of the neural circuits that, when perturbed, lead to the development of obesity and diabetes. From the early hypothalamic lesion reports to the more recent pharmacological and molecular/genetic studies, the central nervous system has been shown to play a critical role in the regulation of food intake and metabolism. Furthermore, these data also demonstrate how the neuronal processes involved in energy homeostasis also impinge on numerous CNS functions, including the regulation of autonomic outflow, reproduction and other behaviors.
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