Towards personalised medicine in obesity

Published on June 30, 2016   12 min

Other Talks in the Series: Obesity: Science, Medicine and Society

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Hello, and welcome to the final lecture in the series Obesity, Science, Medicine and Society. I'm Professor Alex Blakemore and I'm one of the two editors of this series. I'm going to give a few concluding remarks and talk a little bit about prospects for future treatment of obesity.
Series so far has provided a wonderful whistle-stop tour of obesity, but in each topic there is still so much to learn, and lots of questions come to my mind when watching the lectures. I'm sure they do for you too, so talking about psychology, I'm interested in what mechanisms underlie the relationship between emotion-handling and eating behavior? How does that work? And what psychological interventions would be most effective long-term? 'Cause it's not too difficult to get people to lose weight in the short term but maintaining that weight loss is a real challenge. In the biology, what's exactly is the relationship between the gut microbes and the host body? How do rare genetic variants and the SNPs interact? We know that both involved in predisposing to obesity, but how do they work together? And what are the key sex differences in obesity pathogenesis? Why is it so much more common in women than in males? And what about adipose tissue dysfunction? Are there ways that we can cause our white fat to become beige or brown fat? In terms of treating obesity, what can we do about interventions? What kind of public health approaches can we apply that would actually work? Can we provide non-surgical therapies by mimicking some of the effects of bariatric surgery and after surgery or after weight loss, again we come back to the question, how can we sustain weight loss long-term? Research in all these fields is ongoing and is essential to allow us to develop methods to personalize treatments for those with severe obesity.