Weight Loss by Low-Calorie Diet Versus Gastric Bypass Surgery in People With Diabetes Results in Divergent Brain Activation Patterns: A Functional MRI Study

V Salem, L Demetriou, P Behary, K Alexiadou, S Scholtz, G Tharakan, AD Miras, S Purkayastha, AR Ahmed, SR Bloom, MB Wall, WS Dhillo, TM-M Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE
Weight loss achieved with very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) can produce remission of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but weight regain very often occurs with reintroduction of higher calorie intakes. In contrast, bariatric surgery produces clinically significant and durable weight loss, with diabetes remission that translates into reductions in mortality. We hypothesized that in patients living with obesity and prediabetes/T2D, longitudinal changes in brain activity in response to food cues as measured using functional MRI would explain this difference.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Sixteen participants underwent gastric bypass surgery, and 19 matched participants undertook a VLCD (meal replacement) for 4 weeks. Brain responses to food cues and resting-state functional connectivity were assessed with functional MRI pre- and postintervention and compared across groups.

RESULTS
We show that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) results in three divergent brain responses compared with VLCD-induced weight loss: 1) VLCD resulted in increased brain reward center food cue responsiveness, whereas in RYGB, this was reduced; 2) VLCD resulted in higher neural activation of cognitive control regions in response to food cues associated with exercising increased cognitive restraint over eating, whereas RYGB did not; and 3) a homeostatic appetitive system (centered on the hypothalamus) is better engaged following RYGB-induced weight loss than VLCD.

CONCLUSIONS
Taken together, these findings point to divergent brain responses to different methods of weight loss in patients with diabetes, which may explain weight regain after a short-term VLCD in contrast to enduring weight loss after RYGB.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1842-1851
Number of pages10
JournalDiabetes Care
Volume44
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Aug 2021

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