Increased fMRI food cue reactivity in obesity, i.e. higher responses to high- vs. low-calorie food images, is a promising marker of the dysregulated brain reward system underlying enhanced susceptibility to obesogenic environmental cues. Recently, it has also been shown that weight loss interventions might affect fMRI food cue reactivity and that there is a close association between the alteration of cue reactivity and the outcome of the intervention. Here we tested whether fMRI food cue reactivity could be used as a marker of diet-induced early changes of neural processing in the striatum that are predictive of the outcome of the weight loss intervention. To this end we investigated the relationship between food cue reactivity in the striatum measured one month after the onset of the weight loss program and weight changes obtained at the end of the six-month intervention. We observed a significant correlation between BMI change measured after six months and early alterations of fMRI food cue reactivity in the striatum, including the bilateral putamen, right pallidum, and left caudate. Our findings provide evidence for diet-induced early alterations of fMRI food cue reactivity in the striatum that can predict the outcome of the weight loss intervention.
Hermann, P., Gál, V., Kóbor, I., Kirwan, C. B., Kovács, P., Kitka, T., … Vidnyánszky, Z. (2019). Efficacy of weight loss intervention can be predicted based on early alterations of fMRI food cue reactivity in the striatum. NeuroImage: Clinical, 23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101803