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Appetite hormones and addiction 

Appetite hormones and addiction
Appetite hormones and addiction

David J. Nutt

and Liam J. Nestor

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date: 13 June 2021

Many of the same behavioural and brain disturbances observed in addiction are also seen in obesity and binge-eating disorder. This suggests that there are shared neural substrates between substance addiction and compulsive food consumption. Food intake and appetite are regulated by numerous appetite hormones that exert their effects through brain systems involved in reward sensitivity, stress, impulsivity, and compulsivity. There is now emerging evidence that appetite hormones (e.g. ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide-1, orexin) can modulate addictive behaviours (e.g. craving) and the intake of alcohol and drugs. Therefore, there is an emerging shift into a new field of testing drugs that affect appetite hormones and their receptors in the brain, and their use in regulating the brain mechanisms that lead to relapse in addiction disorders.

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