Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Removal of hypothalamic hamartoma curbs compulsive eating and excessive weight gain

Date:
April 9, 2013
Source:
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group
Summary:
Neurosurgeons report on the success they achieved when they removed a hypothalamic hamartoma from a 10-year-old girl to combat hyperphagia (excessive appetite and compulsive overeating) and consequent unhealthy weight gain.

Neurosurgeons at the University of Texas-Houston and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital (Houston, Texas) report on the success they achieved when they removed a hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) from a 10-year-old girl to combat hyperphagia (excessive appetite and compulsive overeating) and consequent unhealthy weight gain. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first time resection of an HH was performed for this particular reason.

Findings in this case are reported and discussed in "Successful treatment of hyperphagia by resection of a hypothalamic hamartoma. Case report," by Yoshua Esquenazi, M.D., David I. Sandberg, M.D., and Harold L. Rekate, M.D., published today online, ahead of print, in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

The patient was a 10-year-old girl who for three years had been treated medically for precocious (premature) puberty due to the presence of a hypothalamic hamartoma (HH), a noncancerous lesion in the brain. Treatment involved monthly intramuscular injections of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analog. This therapy slowed the girl's sexual maturation but did nothing to curb her compulsive eating and excessive weight gain, which is often associated with precocious puberty due to HH. By the time the patient was 10 years old, she weighed 103 kilograms (227 pounds) and she continued to gain 5 pounds per month on average. Counseling on nutrition was ineffective.

The girl's continual weight gain was of great concern. Medication and counseling had done nothing to retard her overeating. Although the neurosurgeons could find no precedent in the literature, they decided to remove the hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) in the hopes that this would control the patient's hyperphagia. Dr. Esquenazi and colleagues call it a "last-ditch effort." The surgery went smoothly, the authors report, and immediately thereafter the girl's appetite diminished and she began eating smaller portions. Eighteen months after surgery, the patient's weight was still the same as it had been before the operation, but it no longer increased, which was the goal of surgery.

"The decision to proceed with this surgery," according to Dr. Sandberg, "was undertaken with great thought and after numerous discussions with the patient's family. We were cautious about proceeding with a major operation in which the probability of success was completely unknown. The patient, her family, and treating physicians were all delighted with the outcome."

A hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) is a rare, congenital, disorganized collection of normal brain cells (glia and neurons) located in or around the hypothalamus. Although some HHs are asymptomatic, others are responsible for seizures, particularly gelastic ones (which present as inappropriate outbursts of laughing or crying), behavioral or cognitive problems, or precocious puberty (33% of cases of precocious puberty are caused by HHs). Precocious puberty is usually treated medically with a GnRH analog until the patient reaches 12 or 13 years of age. Removal of the HH by surgery is recommended when medical therapy fails to correct the hormone imbalance. In the present case, medical therapy was effective in arresting sexual maturation, but surgery was required to cure the patient's hyperphagia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yoshua Esquenazi, David I. Sandberg, Harold L. Rekate. Successful treatment of hyperphagia by resection of a hypothalamic hamartoma. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.3171/2013.2.PEDS12552

Cite This Page:

Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group. "Removal of hypothalamic hamartoma curbs compulsive eating and excessive weight gain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409105959.htm>.
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group. (2013, April 9). Removal of hypothalamic hamartoma curbs compulsive eating and excessive weight gain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409105959.htm
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group. "Removal of hypothalamic hamartoma curbs compulsive eating and excessive weight gain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409105959.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins