New insights in “hunger neurons” and the origins of appetite

Obesity is a growing threat to global health, with heavy costs in medical care and quality of life. Tufts researchers are exploring the causes, effects, and prevention of obesity in fields from medicine to public policy. Tufts neuroscientists are making exciting discoveries about the signaling pathways that regulate metabolism and may play a key role in obesity.

Our brains are designed to regulate metabolism using feedback from the body and our environment. Recent work at Tufts examines specific neurons—“the hunger neurons”—and the proteins that work alongside them to understand how changes in those proteins can trigger metabolic changes, increased appetite, and weight gain.

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