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The Hypothalamus is the area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst.
McGill researchers discover brain cells that play key role in leptin sensing, weight gain

McGill researchers discover brain cells that play key role in leptin sensing, weight gain

It's rare for scientists to get what they describe as "clean" results without spending a lot of time repeating the same experiment over and over again. But when researchers saw the mice they were working with doubling their weight within a month or two, they knew they were on to something. [More]
Scientists discover how immune system molecule hijacks brain circuit to reduce appetite during illness

Scientists discover how immune system molecule hijacks brain circuit to reduce appetite during illness

Loss of appetite during illness is a common and potentially debilitating phenomenon--in cancer patients, especially, it can even shorten lifespan. [More]
Scientists find that disruption to SCN rhythms can negatively impact overall health

Scientists find that disruption to SCN rhythms can negatively impact overall health

Researchers have shown for the first time how neurons in the SCN are connected to each other, shedding light on this vital area of the brain. Understanding this structure — and how it responds to disruption — is important for tackling illnesses like diabetes and posttraumatic stress disorder. The scientists have also found that disruption to these rhythms such as shifts in work schedules or blue light exposure at night can negatively impact overall health. [More]
Total cessation of GnRH production by hypothalamic neurons can lead to infertility

Total cessation of GnRH production by hypothalamic neurons can lead to infertility

Individual small RNAs are responsible for controlling the expression of gonadoliberin or GnRH (Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone), a neurohormone that controls sexual maturation, the appearance of puberty, and fertility in adults. [More]
Scientists discover genetic switches linked to increased lifespan in mammals

Scientists discover genetic switches linked to increased lifespan in mammals

Newly discovered genetic switches that increase lifespan and boost fitness in worms are also linked to increased lifespan in mammals, offering hope that drugs to flip these switches could improve human metabolic function and increase longevity. [More]
Fructose common in western diet can damage brain genes

Fructose common in western diet can damage brain genes

A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases. [More]
Scientists identify key pathway that regulates 'switch' between wakefulness and sleep

Scientists identify key pathway that regulates 'switch' between wakefulness and sleep

Falling asleep and waking up are key transitions in everyone's day. Millions of people have trouble with these transitions - they find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, and hard to stay awake during the day. Despite decades of research, how these transitions work - the neurobiological mechanics of our circadian rhythm - has remained largely a mystery to brain scientists. [More]
Liraglutide drug makes highly desirable foods less appealing to people

Liraglutide drug makes highly desirable foods less appealing to people

Understanding the motivations that drive humans to eat is an important consideration in the development of weight loss therapies. Now a study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center helps explain how the diabetes and weight loss drug liraglutide acts on brain receptors to make enticing foods seems less desirable. [More]
Neurons in hypothalamus help maintain blood glucose levels, study finds

Neurons in hypothalamus help maintain blood glucose levels, study finds

To learn what different cells do, scientists switch them on and off and observe what the effects are. There are many methods that do this, but they all have problems: too invasive, or too slow, or not precise enough. Now, a new method to control the activity of neurons in mice, devised by scientists at Rockefeller University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, avoids these downfalls by using magnetic forces to remotely control the flow of ions into specifically targeted cells. [More]
New type of nerve cells appears to control feeding behaviors in mice

New type of nerve cells appears to control feeding behaviors in mice

While researching the brain's learning and memory system, scientists at Johns Hopkins say they stumbled upon a new type of nerve cell that seems to control feeding behaviors in mice. The finding, they report, adds significant detail to the way brains tell animals when to stop eating and, if confirmed in humans, could lead to new tools for fighting obesity. Details of the study will be published by the journal Science on March 18. [More]
Researchers explore problem of obesity from the inside out

Researchers explore problem of obesity from the inside out

In the last 40 years, obesity has more than doubled around the world. In the United States, the average American is more than 24 pounds heavier today than in 1960. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Washington are studying the problem of obesity from the inside out. [More]
Orexigen Therapeutics, Valeant Pharmaceuticals sign distribution agreement for Mysimba

Orexigen Therapeutics, Valeant Pharmaceuticals sign distribution agreement for Mysimba

Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. today announced Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. will commercialize Mysimba (naltrexone HCl / bupropion HCl prolonged release) in Central and Eastern Europe. [More]
Scientists discover brain mechanisms that separate food consumption from cravings

Scientists discover brain mechanisms that separate food consumption from cravings

Researchers investigating eating disorders often study chemical and neurological functions in the brain to discover clues to overeating. Understanding non-homeostatic eating -- or eating that is driven more by palatability, habit and food cues -- and how it works in the brain may help neuroscientists determine how to control cravings, maintain healthier weights and promote healthier lifestyles. Scientists at the University of Missouri recently discovered the chemical circuits and mechanisms in the brain that separate food consumption from cravings. Knowing more about these mechanisms could help researchers develop drugs that reduce overeating. [More]
Study shows bromances can improve men’s health, reduce stress

Study shows bromances can improve men’s health, reduce stress

Male friendships, portrayed and often winked at in bromance movies, could have healthful effects similar to those seen in romantic relationships, especially when dealing with stress, according to a new study of male rats by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. [More]
Rockefeller research reveals vital new component of system responsible for regulating food intake

Rockefeller research reveals vital new component of system responsible for regulating food intake

The molecular intricacies of hunger and satiety, pivotal for understanding metabolic disorders and the problem of obesity, are not yet fully understood by scientists. However, new research from The Rockefeller University reveals an important new component of the system responsible for regulating food intake: a hormone called amylin, which acts in the brain to help control consumption. [More]
Caltech researchers identify gene that causes severe insomnia when overactivated

Caltech researchers identify gene that causes severe insomnia when overactivated

Caltech biologists have performed the first large-scale screening in a vertebrate animal for genes that regulate sleep, and have identified a gene that when overactivated causes severe insomnia. Expression of the gene, neuromedin U (Nmu), also seems to serve as nature's stimulant--fish lacking the gene take longer to wake up in the morning and are less active during the day. [More]
Maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to epigenetic changes in offspring

Maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to epigenetic changes in offspring

As the study shows, a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to epigenetic changes in the offspring. These changes affect metabolic pathways regulated by the gut hormone GIP, whereby the adult offspring are more susceptible to obesity and insulin resistance, the precursor to type 2 diabetes. Similar mechanisms cannot be ruled out in humans, according to Pfeiffer. [More]
Proton radiotherapy as effective as standard photon therapy in treating pediatric brain tumor

Proton radiotherapy as effective as standard photon therapy in treating pediatric brain tumor

The use of proton radiotherapy to treat the most common malignant brain tumor in children is as effective as standard photon (x-ray) radiation therapy while causing fewer long-term side effects such as hearing loss and cognitive disorders, according to a study receiving online publication in Lancet Oncology. [More]
Researchers identify liver-derived hormone that regulates sugar intake

Researchers identify liver-derived hormone that regulates sugar intake

We all love our sugar, especially during the holidays. Cookies, cake, and candy are simply irresistible. While sugar cravings are common, the physiological mechanisms that trigger our "sweet tooth" are not well defined. [More]
Eating at the wrong time of day affects learning and memory

Eating at the wrong time of day affects learning and memory

An occasional late-night raid on turkey leftovers might be harmless but new research with mice suggests that making a habit of it could alter brain physiology. [More]
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