STATES CHRONICLE – A team of researchers made a huge discovery which might influence the way we looked at obesity. They suggest the brain might be to blame in the case of obese people, as they have discovered two new sets of brain cells which control our appetite. If they can command us when to be hungry or not, we might be able to find a treatment to combat obesity.
Options for a treatment to control hunger signals
Knowing where hunger comes from is vital if you want to control it, making the development of any kind of drugs much easier. Therefore, scientists think they can develop a treatment which can control our appetite, and turn it off when needed. They could prevent us from getting food when we no longer need it by controlling the hunger signals issued by these cells.
The cells in question are placed in an area of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN). Researchers performed brain scans on mice and looked at how the cells in the DRN react. This is how they observed the cells activated when the mice felt hungry. Also, when they received more food than they needed, these neurons in DRN influenced the feeding behavior.
Do these cells actually influence hunger?
The next step in the research is to find out which neurons present in the DRN control hunger. Other tests might help them find an answer, as they could make other observations. When the mice got full, certain neurons released a substance called glutamate. On the other hand, when they were hungry, neurons released a different chemical, namely GABA.
This discovery offers two alternatives. Either these cells just get triggered by this hunger process and play no role whatsoever, or they influence all this mechanism. Judging from the observations made so far, they might have a role in the entire process, but scientists need more research to find the answer.
Image Source: Max Pixel