Changes in brain activation to food pictures after adjustable gastric banding.
Introduction: Neuroimaging studies suggest that obese people might show hyperactivity of brain areas regarding reward processing, and hypoactivity of brain areas concerning cognitive control, when exposed to food cues. Although the effects of bariatric surgery on the central nervous system and eating behavior are well known, few studies have used neuroimage techniques with the aim of investigating the central effects of bariatric surgery in humans. Objectives: This paper systematically and critically reviews studies using functional neuroimaging to investigate changes on the patterns of activation of central areas related to the regulation of eating behavior after bariatric surgery. Method: A search on the databases Medline, Web of Science, Lilacs and Science Direct on Line, was conducted in February 2013, using the keywords “Neuroimaging”, “Positron-Emission Tomography”, “Magnetic Resonance Imaging”, “Gastric Bypass”, “Gastroplasty”, “Jejunoileal Bypass”, “Bariatric Surgery”. Results: Seven manuscripts were included; the great majority studied the central effects of Roux en Y gastric bypass, using positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance. Conclusions: Bariatric surgery might normalize the activity of central areas concerned with reward and incentive salience processing, as the nucleus accumbens and mesencephalic tegmental ventral area, as well as circuitries processing behavioral inhibition, as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.