University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have developed a unique implant that prevents obesity. Currently, in the most severe cases, doctors are forced to resort to bariatric procedures, in particular, gastric bypass. Despite their effectiveness, they pose a health hazard to patients with their side effects. A new technique developed in recent years is called Vagus Nerve Stimulation - VNS.
The vagus nerve connects the brain and body. So, it is through him that the stomach sends a signal to the brain that it is full, after which the brain tells the person that the meal can be finished. In the course of experiments, scientists, by stimulating the vagus nerve, learned to "trick" the brain, as a result of which it was given false information about the fullness of the stomach.
In 2015, the Maestro obesity control device appeared, which, unfortunately, turned out to be quite cumbersome, difficult to operate and, moreover, required periodic recharging.
The new VNS implant differs significantly from its predecessor - it is much smaller and does not have batteries. The device is powered by the natural peristalsis of the stomach.
At the moment, tests on animals have already been completed. As a result, in the first 18 days, the experimental rats lost more than a third of their weight, and this dynamics persisted over the next 75 days. Once the device was removed, the animals returned to their previous normal diet.
Scientists hope that the "human" stage of research will be equally successful, and VNS will help millions of obese people cope with this disease.