When you eat something very rich, did you wonder why you can not stop, although you already know that you ate enough? Scientists from the Medical School of University of North Carolina, USA, believe that they found the reason: a brain circuits.
Thomas Kash, a professor at the Department of Pharmacology, and his colleagues have discovered a specific network of "mobile communication"It stems from the region of the brain that processes it emotions. Hence, mice are motivated to continue to eat food tasty even though their "basic energy needs have been met".
The existence of this brain circle in mammals, described in an article in the academic journal Neuron, can help explain why people they often "eat more". Circuit is a byproduct of evolution, when meals are rich calories They were scarce, so our brains were designed to swallow as many calories as humanly possible, as no one knew when the next super-food would come.
The investigation so far
Scientists have been looking for anti-obesity medicines for decades and examining brain cells and circuits involved in the common "homeostatic" diet, which is the one that is caused by hunger and retains our energy level high. But this approach had limited success. Recently, some researchers studied "hedonistic" feeding, which is "water food." for the satisfaction of foods rich in calories who tend to go far from our strict energy needs, "they explain.
It is believed that the hedonistic diet reflects the prolonged adaptation of modern humans to ancient settings, where famine is common. "You are particularly noticing high-calorie foods tasty and Goodbye, and consuming them whenever they were available would give them a key advantage for survival by accumulating additional energy. Follow that instinct now, at the moment of abundance, can lead to obesity and similar conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, "experts say in their analysis.
Wires that exist
"There are so many calorie-rich foods that are always available, and we have not yet lost this wiring that affects us to eat as much food as possible," Kash adds. Experiments of recent years claim that our "wiring" includes "nociceptin"A small protein that functions as a signaling molecule in the nervous system of mammals The key is now in some compounds that want to block this protein Laboratories working in this field, consider these "antagonists" as possible anti-obese and anti-boring drugs. The researchers were also interested in identifying the specific brain circuits through which they function. The goal is now to develop a specific treatment.
The elimination of about half of the neurons producing nocepeptin in this circuit has decreased bite on mice and kept their weight when they had access to rich food, without affecting their consumption of plain foods.
The main author of the book, J. Andrew Harddei, an assistant professor of pharmacological research at the UNC School of Medicine, notes: "Our study is one of the first things we describe how the emotional center of the brain contributes to eating for pleasure. The next important step and challenge is to use what has been discovered to get new therapies for obesity and eating. "