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 September 22, 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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