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New Brain Discovery Could Help in the Fight Against Obesity

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute have made an important discovery in how the brain controls food intake.

Research published in Current Biology has found a specific cluster of cells in the brain that control body weight.

Dr Pablo Blanco Martínez de Morentin who led the study while at the Rowett Institute (and is now a group leader at the University of Leeds) said: “We have found a new connection between an under-studied subset of neurones in the brainstem sensing food consumption that turn off primary hunger neurones in another part of the brain. This connection uses the chemical GABA. This is exciting news as it opens up the potential for new strategies for weight regulation.”

The team, including scientists from the University of Cambridge, used a combination of cutting-edge techniques ranging from recording the activity of single cells to measuring changes in daily food intake and body weight in mice to make this discovery.

Going forward, the scientists say this research could pave the way to develop more targeted medications reducing food intake and body weight by tackling hunger, without causing nausea.


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