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How the brain influences our eating habits and weight gain

Two separate teams of researchers have identified how genes involved in neural development can affect body weight and how brain cells involved in memory play an important role after a meal in reducing future eating behaviour. The first team – led by investigators at the University of Cambridge and Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have pinpointed a set of molecules that wire the body weight centre of the brain.

Gut microbes could contribute to depression and anxiety

Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have reported gut microbiome are potential contributors to depression and anxiety. By studying mice that become obese when put on a high-fat diet, the Joslin scientists found that mice on a high-fat diet showed significantly more signs of anxiety, depression and obsessive behaviour than animals on standard diets.

POMC prohormone could hold the key to future obesity treatments

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School have discovered how the appetite pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) prohormone is produced and how the interruption of its regulation raise the risk of overeating and obesity. The findings could pave the way for new approaches to treating forms of obesity, especially those with genetic roots. They also improve the understanding of how the body controls the levels of hormones related to appetite and much more.

Hypothalamic alterations key to the development of obesity

When investigating the factors associated with the growing epidemic of obesity in the world over the last decade, scientists have identified two events that greatly contribute to weight gain. One is an alteration in the profile of bacteria that make up the intestinal flora and studies published from 2005 to 2007 showed that obese people generally present a set of microorganisms that stimulate the absorption of nutrients from food. That means an apple can be more fattening to an obese person than to a lean person.

Hunger-controlling brain cells could lead to new obesity drugs

study by researchers at The Rockefeller University suggests that the solution to the obesity epidemic all in our heads. The findings are the latest evidence that eating is a complex biological behaviour mediated by multiple sites in the brain. They also offer a possible solution to a problem that has dogged previous efforts to address obesity at the neuronal level.

Genetic triggers identified in weight-regulating brain cells

New research has revealed how tiny bits of DNA can have a big influence on how the body regulates appetite and weight, and is thought to be the first documentation of exactly how a brain cell gene involved in weight regulation is controlled.

Brain circuit controls overeating and sugar addiction

Compulsive overeating and sugar addiction are major threats to human health, but potential treatments face the risk of impairing normal feeding behaviours that are crucial for survival.

Insights into the role of the hypothalamus in obesity and T2DM

Researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center have gained new insights into how obesity and type 2 diabetes can create a stress response in the brain, especially in the hypothalamus which regulates appetite and energy production, that may contribute to altering metabolism throughout the body.

Generating new appetite-regulating neurons

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have discovered a population of stem cells capable of generating new appetite-regulating neurons in the brains of young and adult rodents, the breakthrough could offer a long-lasting solution obesity and other eating disorders.

Could deep brain stimulation treat obesity?

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is widely accepted as an effective treatment for neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, now researchers from the Ohio State University and University of Southern California, claim that the treatment could be used to treat obesity.

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