Monday, March 2, 2015

Brain Eating Centers

Eating is controlled in the brain, of course. For more than half a century researchers have known that that basic motivated behaviors, such as eating, drinking, and sleeping, are controlled within the lateral hypothalamus, which is similar in all mammals. But have you ever wondered what part of the brain pushes you to eat or not to eat? Recent studies have shown that within the lateral hypothalamus (LH) there are distinct groups of cells, living right next door to each other, if you will. There is the Orexin cell population, the MCH, and the Vgat, to name a few. There are also the LH GABA activation cells and the LH GABA inhibition cells. The LH GABA activation cells push you to consume food and get a reward while the LH GABA inhibition cells encourage you not to consume. More tomorrow.

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