Scientists discover neuron that helps us eat large meals

Every two hours we eat roughly two to three times more than what is recommended for optimal brain health. However nothing is known about how a single neuron known as the perineuronal net controls appetite and our hunger response. A team of neuroscientists from Aarhus University Aarhus University Hospital and the University of Helsinki has now succeeded in discovering the neuron that is responsible for this.

Huntingtons disease is a hereditary disease that causes muscle weakness and other body features and about 1 of adults carry the gene mutation that disrupts nerves that control essential and painful muscles movements. The disease can be prevented but untreated symptoms often lead to depression motor disorders and increases the risk of suffering from falls.

Other types of learning cannot be done without the neurons responsible for feeding. But due to a lack of information about other neurons which respond to hunger and promote feeding behavior in the mice we did not know whether hunger-stimulation neurons mediate hunger-and-hunger drive neurons says mantleiro Tijssel of the University of Aarhus and the Department of Biomedicine Aarhus. Other types of learning procedures cannot be performed without the intracellular net as the gatekeepers of both feeding and distraction in our brains.

Working with genetically modified mice the scientists have now shown that in addition to the perineuronal net neurons in addition to those involved in higher cognitive functions including memory and the gross motor coordination also possess a signaling system that is necessary for feeding and for a balanced eating. This system seems connected to the sensory nerves (CV1)LV2 region of the parietal cortex and therefore especially influences conscious and visual perception.

We are quite certain about our results but we need to wait for further experiments to make sure that the implications in a rodent neuron are the same as in people. Here we have been able to prove that the neurons which are involved in feeding behavior that are part of the neuronal net and the feeding-cognitive system need a fairly special system Ennermans explains.

Ennermans hopes his findings can contribute to a transdiagnostic approach for those at risk of developing age-related obesity and other diseases that start at the core of the brain. This is an important factor in the pathogenesis of such diseases and human neuroendocrinology remains poorly understood adds the renowned virologist and professor of neurology at the University of Helsinki.endoftext
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