April 1991

Hypothalamic or Central Obesity Is Associated With an Early Rise in Plasma Insulin Concentration

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Segal and Bell) and Neurology (Drs Segal and Abrams), College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, and Helen Hayes Hospital (Dr Abrams), West Haverstraw, NY. Dr Segal is now with the Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Arch Neurol. 1991;48(4):429-431. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530160099022

• Insulin levels in a 7-year-old boy with hyperphagia and obesity following an episode of meningoencephalitis were studied sequentially during the course of progressive weight gain. High fasting insulin levels (1183 pmol/L) and strikingly high insulin release in response to glucose (7892 pmol/L) were found within weeks of the onset of the illness. The abnormality in insulin secretion occurred prior to the marked weight gain. Hyperinsulinemia was not accompanied by hypoglycemia. Early hyperinsulinemia may be a primary event in the development of hyperphagia and obesity following hypothalamic injury.