August 28, 2014 – BEAT Obesity


Anchor lead: Can a new technique less invasively treat obesity?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Using nothing more than a catheter and tiny plastic beads, Clifford Weiss and colleagues at Johns Hopkins are investigating a new treatment for obesity called the BEAT Obesity trial.  Weiss describes the intervention.

Weiss:  We actually select the artery that feeds the top of the stomach, and in this area of the stomach we know the hormone producing cells of a particular hormone called ghrelin, which stimulates food intake, so we would actually put a catheter into the artery that feeds this, this little plastic tube into the artery that feeds the top of the stomach, and then deliver very carefully small little particle embolics, little plastic particles and they block the blood vessels.  And that should downregulate these hormones and have patients actually not be hungry.  :27

Weiss says the treatment is not for everyone; patients must not have diabetes, cancer, or other medical conditions, but he’s hopeful that this fairly noninvasive strategy could help people lose weight.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.