16:26 23 January 2017
A drug used to combat a chronic sleep disorder could help curb impulses for food, helping food addicts to lose weight, scientists have claimed.
Food addicts are deficient in dopamine, a hormone released in the brain when people eat. This causes food addicts to eat more to reach the same level of pleasure as others.
A new study found that Modafinil, a drug used to treat narcolepsy and known to increase dopamine levels, could help overweight adults reduce impulse behaviour.
One of the lead researchers, Professor Ivo Vlaev, from Warwick University, said:
'We found Modafinil, which is already on the market, did reduce people's impulsive behaviour.’
He added: 'There is a substantial number of obese people who are food addicts because they have an inability to control their impulsive actions.
'And this drug has shown it can give them more control, which will help them lose weight and improve their health.'
Modafinil is also used to boost academic performance. However, previous research has found that it could cause dizziness and in some cases, fatal skin reactions.