The link between food impulsivity and brain circuit

Do you often eat too much? Do you eat more than expected? Do you have a binge eating disorder? Well, worry not. Because to solve your all overeating issues science has got an answer now.

In a study conducted by faculty members of the University of Georgia, it has been found that impulsivity to eat is linked to a specific circuit in our brain. This brain circuit is held responsible for making a person eat excessive food, gain weight, have a drug addiction and involve in gambling.

The findings of the study were recently published in the journal of Nature Communications. The findings of the study state that our brain houses distinct physiology for regulating our capability to say no to excessive eating. However, for experimental analysis, this brain circuitry can be activated to check different behavioral responses.

The study was based on the rat model and involved studying a particular subset of cells in the brain that generate transmitting signals in the hypothalamus known as melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). This MCH is responsible for increasing food consumption and also plays a key role in food impulsivity. During the study, it was found that when MCH producing cells were activated in the animal brain, they become more impulsive towards food. Nevertheless, for activating MCH researchers employed advanced tactics to create a neural channel from the hypothalamus to the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a brain part responsible for learning and memory tasks.

The research results indicated that MCH neither affects a person’s like towards food nor it impacts his/her readiness to get food. Instead, it affects a person’s impulsive behavior for eating. Thus, analyzing this brain circuit provides a new hope to address overeating issues in masses. It is indicative of the fact that someday therapeutics can be developed to control excessive eating in human beings.


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