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Relationship Between Dopamine Genetics, Food Reinforcement, Energy Intake and Obesity

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Leonard Epstein, State University of New York at Buffalo Identifier:
First received: August 17, 2009
Last updated: June 12, 2012
Last verified: June 2012
The purpose of the study is to determine whether the presentation of various foods produces an increase or decrease in responses on a motivational computer task. In addition, the study determines if energy intake or motivation to obtain food is related to the dopamine receptor genotype.


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Food Reinforcement Genotype Interactions and Eating

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by State University of New York at Buffalo:

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
Saliva DNA samples will be collected from all participants

Enrollment: 310
Study Start Date: February 2008
Study Completion Date: June 2011
Primary Completion Date: June 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Detailed Description:
One of the most important research areas in obesity is developing a better understanding of individual differences in factors that influence excess energy intake and positive energy balance. One key to understanding these individual differences is determining what factors underlie the motivation to eat. We have demonstrated in a series of studies that obese adults and children are more motivated to work for palatable, favorite foods than leaner peers and that those high in food reinforcement consume more food in an ad libitum eating task than those who do not find food as reinforcing. Dopamine (DA) is one of the major neurotransmitters involved in establishing the reinforcing value of food, and low levels of dopamine activity and a reduction in the number of DA receptors is associated with obesity. The general aim of the proposed research is to build upon this research to examine relationships between food reinforcement, obesity, and polymorphisms of genes within the dopaminergic system.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Subjects will be recruited from newspaper ads, posters on campus and in community settings, web based recruitment (ads on Craig's list and on the department's website) and direct mail targeted to community residents between 18-50 years of age.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Non-smokers
  • 18-50 years of age
  • No known eating disorder
  • Moderate liking for study foods
  • No current diagnosis of psychiatric disorder (e.g., anxiety or depression)
  • Not on medications that would interfere with appetite (e.g., methylphenidate) or dopaminergic activity
  • Non-diabetics

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Smoker
  • Pregnant women
  • Current diagnosis of a psychiatric or eating disorder
  • Dietary restrictions that would interfere with participation
  • On medications that could interfere with appetite or olfactory responsiveness or use of antidepressants or any medication or dietary supplement that could affect appetite or dopaminergic activity
  • Excessive use of alcohol (>21 drinks/week), alcoholism,current addiction to opiates, cocaine or stimulants
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00962117

Sponsors and Collaborators
State University of New York at Buffalo
Principal Investigator: Leonard H Epstein, Ph.D. SUNY Buffalo
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Leonard Epstein, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Social and Preventive Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo Identifier: NCT00962117     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1066937
Study First Received: August 17, 2009
Last Updated: June 12, 2012

Keywords provided by State University of New York at Buffalo:
Food Reinforcement
Energy Intake

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms
Cardiotonic Agents
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Dopamine Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents processed this record on March 30, 2017