A surprising connection between brain circuits involved in compulsive behavior and obesity is found in a new research.
The University of Iowa-led researchers bred mice missing a gene known to cause obesity, and suspected to also be involved in compulsive behavior, with a genetic mouse model of compulsive grooming.
The unexpected result was offspring that were neither compulsive groomers nor obese.
The study suggests that the brain circuits that control obsessive-compulsive behavior are intertwined with circuits that control food intake and body weight.
The findings have implications for treating compulsive behavior, which is associated with many forms of psychiatric disease, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome, and eating disorders.
The study is published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).