Electroretinographic detection of human brain dopamine response to oral food stimulation

Authors

  • J.A. Nasser,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, St. Luke s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10025, USA
    2. Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    • New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10025, USA
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  • A. Del Parigi,

    1. Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • K. Merhige,

    1. Department of Ophthalmology, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center
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  • C. Wolper,

    1. Department of Medicine, St. Luke s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10025, USA
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  • A. Geliebter,

    1. Department of Medicine, St. Luke s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10025, USA
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  • S.A. Hashim

    1. Department of Medicine, St. Luke s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10025, USA
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  • Disclosures: The authors declared no conflict of interest.

  • Funding agencies: This study was funded by a pilot grant from the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, a pilot grant from the Associate Trustees of St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, and P30DK026687 (F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, PI).

Abstract

Objective:

The activity of dopamine-dependent retinal signaling can be assessed using electroretinography. Response of this system to oral food stimulation might provide accessible insight into the brain dopamine response to oral stimuli as retinal dopamine concentration is dependent upon mid brain dopamine concentration was postulated.

Design and Methods:

Nine individuals had cone ERG (b wave) response to oral food stimulation and oral methylphenidate (MPH) administration measured on separate days, and completed self reported eating behavior questionnaires.

Results:

Significant and similar increases in b wave response to both stimuli (P = 0.012 and P = 0.042, MPH and food, respectively) and significant correlations of the food stimulated b wave amplitude with binge eating related behavior as measured by the Gormally Binge Eating Scale (r = 0.68, P = 0.044) and self-reported trait hunger as measured by the Stunkard and Messick Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (r = 0.67, P = 0.048) were found.

Conclusion:

The significant increase in food stimulated dopamine dependent b wave amplitude and correlation with methylphenidate stimulated b wave amplitude suggest that ERG may offer a relatively inexpensive and accessible methodology for potentially assess dopaminergic responses to food and other externally applied stimuli that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of human diseases.

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