Impact: The findings suggest Leptin may play a role in modulating personal behavior and perhaps food cravings.
Background: Leptin is a protein hormone that plays an important role in regulating body weight, metabolism and reproductive function. Researchers took MRI scans of research subjects' brains prior to beginning leptin replacement treatment, and again at six and 18 months after treatment began.
Investigator: The lead investigators are Drs. Edythe London and Julio Licinio of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. The imaging was conducted by Dr. London and John Matochik of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Journal: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (May 2005).
Funders: National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of General Medical Sciences, National Center for Research Resources, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse).