Brain Wiring May Affect Hunger and Eating
Research lead by the Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has revealed that brain circuitry that controls hunger and eating also controlled by “plasticity,” which is the ability of the brain’s connections to change over time. Research has shown that plasticity is a key to memory formation and learning. The findings were published in last month’s issue of the medical journal Neron.
Senior author Bradford Lowell, MD, PhD, says “the 'switched-on' animals search in an unrelenting fashion for food, and when given a task to obtain pellets, will work five times harder to get them.” He is an investigator in BIDMC's Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).
“The role of plasticity has generally not been evaluated in neuronal circuits that control feeding behavior and with this new discovery we can start to unravel the basic mechanisms underpinning hunger and gain a greater understanding of the factors that influence weight gain and obesity," he explains.