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New Technique for Identifying Brain Microstructures - Implications for Obesity?


Senior Member

The study used a relatively new MRI technique and claims to find a correlation between the density of a certain brain microstructure and childhood weight gain, possibly involving chronic brain neuroinflammation. I don't know how valid the findings of this particular study are, but the technique of measuring differences in brain microstructures could be useful for ME research. Maybe ME has a correlation between some microstructure and the feeling of fatigue, or brainfog, or some other symptoms.

Medical scanning technology is increasing rapidly, so I'm hopeful that some technique such as this will find the core dysfunction in ME.


Senior Member
U.S., Earth
The link describes an hypothesis that childhood obesity might be caused by neuroinflammation in a part of the basal ganglia called the nucleus accumbens.

From Wikipedia:
Wikipedia said:
As a whole, the nucleus accumbens has a significant role in the cognitive processing of motivation, aversion, reward (i.e., incentive salience, pleasure, and positive reinforcement), and reinforcement learning (e.g., Pavlovian-instrumental transfer);[4][7][8][9][10] hence, it has a significant role in addiction.[4][8]

The researchers used a new MRI technique to identify an increase in the number of cells in the nucleus accumbens, and these extra cells are suspected to be tissue-resident macrophages, also known as microglia. This accumulation of tissue-resident macrophages signifies neuroinflammation.

If this is a correct interpretation of the MRI data, then this technique might be useful in detecting neuroinflammation in other parts of the brain.