Now a sleep disorder drug can help in weight loss
Dec 15, 2016
Good news for obese people, who are struggling to control their desire for food to lose weight, as a team of scientists has found that a drug used to treat sleep disorder can reduce the impulse for food in overweight people. The study was published in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences.
Scientists from Imperial College London and Warwick Business School in London found impulsive behaviour is a factor in leading to food addiction and a drug called Modafinil-- usually used for narcolepsy -- shift work disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness-- can reduce impulsivity and thus food addiction.
"We found Modafinil, which is already in the market, did reduce people's impulsive behaviour," said study author Ivo Vlaev from Warwick Business School in London.
"It has been shown to reduce impulsiveness in a variety of disorders such as alcohol dependence, schizophrenia and ADHD. Food addicts suffer from the same neurobiological conditions, so we believe that it will help food addicts as well and our initial tests have backed up that theory," he added.
They conducted a series of trials on 60 men aged between 19 and 32, with 20 taking a placebo, 20 Atomoxetine and 20 Modafinil. The tests revealed that those, who had taken Modafinil had a significantly reduced level of impulsiveness, whereas Atomoxetine produced no difference compared to the placebo group.
"This could have important implications for people, who are obese. There is mounting evidence to show that there is a substantial number of obese people who are food addicts because they have an inability to control their impulsive actions and this drug has shown it can give them more control, which will help overweight people lose weight and so improve their health," he explained.
"The drug improves self-control, which is a key factor in determining obesity, so our hypothesis is that this drug should help in treating the disease," he stated.