Body weight and the reward system: The volume of the right amygdala may be associated with body mass index in young overweight men

Gergely Orsi, Gabor Perlaki, Norbert Kovacs, Mihaly Aradi, Zilia Papp, Kazmer Karadi, Csaba Szalay, Zoltan Karadi, Laszlo Lenard, Tamas Tenyi, Eniko Plozer, Robert Gabriel, Ferenc Nagy, Tamas Doczi, Samuel Komoly, Hennric Jokeit, Attila Schwarcz, József Janszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We aimed to investigate the relationship between BMI (body mass index) and the volumes of the structures of the reward system (hippocampus, amygdala, accumbens, caudatum, putamen, and orbitofrontal cortex). The right and left structures were examined separately. Their volumes were assessed using a 3-T MRI scanner and Freesurfer software. Ninety-two healthy subjects were involved (mean BMI: 22.3 ± 3.4 kg/m2, mean age: 23.2 ± 2.7). We found that the volume of the right amygdala positively correlated with the BMI in men but not in women. Moreover, we could demonstrate this association only in the overweight male sub-population. We suggest that an association between body weight and the morphological variability of the reward system can be demonstrated by MRI. This may be further evidence for a different body-weight regulation in the two sexes. The potential relationship between the volume of the right amygdala and the BMI in heavier individuals requires further studies with larger samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Freesurfer
  • Gender difference
  • Magnetic resonance volumetry
  • Obesity
  • Reward system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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