NORTH PARK Neuroscientist Says Brain-buzzing Device Causes Weight Loss

Neurovalens makes a headset (worn like earphones) that stimulates an area of the mind linked with appetite. Wearing the device for one hour per day is resulting in a 5 percent reduction in body fat for its users over three to four months, said the company’s founder Jason McKeown, a going to scholar at UC NORTH PARK. It sounds like research fiction-or at least a late-night infomercial-right? Well, these devices actually has some interesting science behind it, and the business’s creator is seeking acceptance from the U.S. Medication and Food Administration to treat obesity.

Neurovalens competed alongside 150 business owners across 10 campuses in the annual UC Entrepreneur Pitch Competition. How exactly does it work? The brain controls weight loss and weight gain by managing urge for food, human hormones, metabolism and more. That’s why the latest anti-obesity drugs focus on the brain, rather than older methods like tummy staples and balloons.

The company’s device, called Modius, focuses on an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which regulates urge for food by picking up communications about satiation and fullness from hormones like leptin and insulin. The brain gleans information from these signals to control hunger. McKeown, a neuroscientist at UC San Diego’s Center for Brain and Cognition, said the Modius headset stimulates the vestibular nerve through the trunk of the head, which then sends a note to the hypothalamus to dial down appetite and yearnings. Helping to curb hunger is especially hard for people trying to lose weight, McKeown said, because their brains want to cling to the fat for survival.

Modius is meant to help with the painful procedure for weight loss, not replace a healthy diet and exercise. The target, McKeown said, is slow and maintainable weight loss. 2 million. After all, the science is very new and the company hasn’t yet gained the FDA’s stamp of approval proving it works.

  • Use air conditioning as needed, especially in the summer months
  • Help the body absorb less diet fat
  • 1/4 pound (about 4 pieces) Lower Sodium Roast Beef (I really like Boar’s Head brand)
  • 1 Bag Celebrate Vitamins Protein 20 (All Purpose Protein to increase anything)
  • Trade and commerce with regards to travel and leisure or travel
  • Lower threat of heart disease and stroke

And let’s not pretend, probing the brain while sitting down on the couch seems good to be true too. But McKeown said the company happens to be enrolling over 100 patients for a pivotal trial, the last stage of clinical testing before asking the FDA for approval. The U-T reached away to several unaffiliated experts in weight loss to see what they considered Neurovalens’ device. Most declined to comment on the business’s technology, saying they weren’t familiar enough with neurostimulation to provide perspective. But one researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies weighed in: neuroscientist Sung Han, who studies neural circuits root brain disorders.

How long can it take? McKeown said the ongoing company hoped to see 5 percent fat burning over the course of one yr. However, early data collected from Neurovalens’ mobile app suggests people are meeting that goal within four to five months. That data isn’t as reliable as medical data, mind you.

Customers log their own information through the app, departing a margin for error. And there is no way to learn what other factors are influencing their weight loss. McKeown said the Modius device must not be pegged as a “magic pill” for weight loss, when anti-obesity drugs make an effort to achieve considerably faster results. His device, by comparison, is a very sluggish fix. But he said he understands the suspicion people have.

While it remains to be observed if Modius works or not, Han said he’s positive that this kind of technology could offer an alternative to traditional weight loss drugs. Anti-obesity drugs can cause major depression and other unfavorable side effects credited to the way they manipulate the brain. Based on old neurostimulation technology, Modius is considered a safe device and can therefore already be sold in the U.S. 500. But keep in mind: because it’s safe doesn’t mean it’s effective. Waiting to find out if an FDA approval comes through might be wise.