It is no news to say that currently obesity is one of the main health problems worldwide, is considered a chronic disease that affects thousands of people around the world. Not surprisingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized it as an epidemic with devastating consequences. The reality is that obesity it goes far beyond being an aesthetic problem, It is one of the most common conditions in modern society and is directly related to other health problems such as various cardiovascular conditions, strokes, mental health and sleep disorders, it also increases the risk of hypertension , diabetes and other degenerative health problems. Undoubtedly, every day more people struggle to overcome the problem and of course scientists have joined the cause seeking to find a solution, such is the case of a very recent study that has come to give us new hope and which finds a direct relationship between a certain brain circuit, obesity and the response to satiety.
On brain function and obesity:
The study was recently published in Science Advances and was titled: A dopaminergic neural circuit of the rhombencephalon prevents weight gain by reinforcing satiety from food. While we agree that it may seem like a somewhat complicated concept, it is not so complicated. In simpler words: a specific circuit in the brain, is associated with the ability to suppress hunger and plays an important role in significantly reducing overweight and obesity. To delve deeper into the subject, the study authors stated the following: “Today many people struggle with weight control, they eat more than the body needs, which adds extra pounds that can lead to obesity and increased risk. of serious conditions like heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes ”. And that is why they have been inspired to analyze much more thoroughly the relationship between brain function and obesity.
The study’s lead authors belong to the Baylor College of Medicine medical team: Dr. Qi Wu and Dr. Yong Han, who together with other colleagues discovered how these unique neuronal circuits and neurotransmitters are related to the self-control in food consumption.
Based on the above and in more detail, the team discovered a novel circuit that connects a Unique subset of dopamine-producing neurons with descending neurons in the rhombencephalon (lower brainstem) and which together have the ability to potently suppress food intake by triggering satiety in mice How did they arrive at these conclusions? The team of researchers used several advanced techniques to study neural function, including cell-specific circuit mapping, optogenetics, and real-time recordings of brain activity.
Although as part of the study Dr. Han emphasized that other brain circuits have been proposed to regulate eating, the one described in the study is the first and most important for regulate portion sizes of food through dopamine signaling. As an aside: dopamine is a chemical messenger previously known to regulate motivation and pleasure, so it is easier to understand its new role in controlling eating through dynamic regulation of the satiety response. Ultimately it is not about how a meal is started, but how it ends. It’s all about the satiety response, which is just as important as appetite.
Although much research work remains to be done, undoubtedly these types of discoveries have positive implications for the future of medicine and development of specific drugs that can provide additional support in the treatment of obesity, especially with greater safety and efficacy.
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