Joel Callen

News

Wed, 29 Apr, 2015

Scientists discover the part of the brain that controls hunger, and how to turn it off

Scientists discover the part of the brain that controls hunger, and how to turn it off

Scientists have identified the brain cells that control hunger, leading experts to theorise that it could lead to breakthroughs in the weight loss industry.

The tiny group of cells known as PVH MC4R neurons make up just a few hundred of the billions of cells in our brains, but they run the show when it comes to hunger pangs. Through experiments on mice, scientists discovered that switching off these neurons heightens the feelings of hunger, while turning them on deadens the appetite.

Experiments showed that the neurons don’t deal remove appetite by creating feelings of nausea or other unpleasant sensations, but by quelling any hunger pangs. It is also thought they calm the feelings of irritation that can often accompany hunger.

The researchers are now looking to the future, hoping to turn their findings towards making a drug that works with the PVH MC4R neurons to help people lose weight.

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