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UA Research looks at neurons in the brain that makes us hungry

Think emotions correlate with eating behaviors
University of Arizona 1
Posted at 8:47 PM, Jul 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 01:12:27-04

New research at the University of Arizona is looking at ways neurons fire in different regions of the brain to make someone want to eat versus not want to eat.

They've determined there are different regions of the brain that correlate together to make this happen in the Amygdala region, otherwise known as the emotion hub of the brain.

"We are interested in understanding how the feeding behavior and emotion behavior like anxiety interact with each other," Assistant Professor and Researcher at the UA Haijang Cai said.

Cai said they've determined in a mouse's brain that specific region of that brain, and that's the part they want to control.

By controlling this, Cai said researchers are able to make pin point specific drugs to help those struggling with eating disorders. He said right now, drugs helping these disorders are affecting people's mental health, making them anxious and sometimes even depressed.

He said he wants this research to change that.

"Our hope is to identify each of these steps, what's the underlying neuron mechanism and then we can understand how they control feeding behaviors," Cai said.

They're using mice for the researcher, but known were harmed through the process. The next steps is to see if the region in a mouses brain is similar to that of a human brain.