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Binge-Eating Neurons Identified

June 1st, 2017

Study finds inducing activity in the zona incerta portion of the brain, prompts mice to gorge themselves.

A study conducted by Yale University neuroscientists has shown a link between overeating and neurons. These neurons, located above the hypothalamus and below the thalamus, were stimulated with optogenetics (a biological technique that is used to control neuron activity using light). Once stimulated, the mice on which this study was using, were seen to begin overeating in seconds. After 10 minutes, they had overeaten by 35% of a normal daily amount.

Van Del Pol states that “being able to include the zona incerta in models of feeding is going to help us understand it better.” He speculates that this portion of the brain may be the root of binge-eating that can sometimes be seen in those who suffer with Parkinson’s disease as they have electrons inserted in the brain to help control symptoms.


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