An overview of the central control of weight regulation and the effect of antipsychotic medication.J Psychopharmacol. 2005 Nov; 19(6 Suppl):36-46.JP
Weight regulation is a complex system necessary for maintaining health. Obesity and cachexia are consequences of dysregulation and cause significant physical morbidity and mortality. In the developed world, obesity is a growing epidemic. A greater understanding of the neuroanatomy of weight regulation has been gained through advances in imaging and neural mapping techniques. The neural connections between key hypothalamic and other central nuclei have been elucidated. Advances in molecular biology have led to the identification and cloning of important peripheral and central weight regulating peptides. Weight gain as a consequence of antipsychotic use is increasingly being recognized as a serious clinical issue. The weight regulation system provides a framework upon which antipsychotics exert their weight-inducing effects. Some studies have sought, with inconsistent results, to establish associations between antipsychotic use and levels of weight regulating mediators. The receptor pharmacology of antipsychotics known to increase weight can be studied with a view to establishing genetic variants contributing to the risk. To date, the 5-HT(2C) receptor 759C/T polymorphism shows most promise. Further studies are required to replicate previous findings and establish new associations.