“Impulse is the devil”, but impulse control is the key to regulating behavior, impulse in many cases can quickly lead to negative consequences. Sudden surge in diet desire to make you want to lose weight in a day you ingested nearly a week of calories, watching friends circle endless “not thin x catty not change avatar”, you may not think that our overeating is really a brain problem.
A new study recently identified specific circuits in the brain that alter the impulses of food, raising the possibility that scientists could one day develop a cure for overeating. The findings were recently published in the journal Nature Communications.
The path to neurotransmitter regulation of melanin-concentrated hormone (MCH) was the focus of the study. Researchers have been aware of MCH many years ago, and the initial research revolves around its role in controlling pigmentation in the skin. However, in the past few decades, in studies of a variety of animal models, the neurons that produce MCH have been able to regulate the animal’s eating behavior.
The researchers used rat models to study the special effects of mCH pathways on impulses. In the experiment, the mice were trained to press the joystick that released high-fat, high-sugar particles, but waited 20 seconds between pressing the lever twice, and if the animal pressed the lever ahead of time, the timer would reset and another 20 seconds would be required.
The researchers then injected MHC into the rat’s skull to activate specific neural pathways in the hypothalamus-seahorse. The results showed that the test animals pressed the lever more frequently before the 20-second wait time passed, gradually becoming “uncontrollable.”
Emily Noble explains: “The underlying physiology in the brain is regulating your ability to refuse (impulsive eating). In the experimental model, you can activate the circuit and get a specific behavioral response. We found that when the cells in the brain that produce MCH are activated, animals become more impulsive around food. “
Emily Noble, lead author of the study Source: University of Georgia News Network
Further tests have shown that this particular MCH regulation method does not have effect on taste, appetite or eating motivation. This means that brain circuits may mainly affect the inhibition control of animals.
This particular pathway of activating MCH neurons increases impulsive behavior without affecting normal eating due to calorie demand or motivation to eat delicious foods. This may lead to the development of a treatment for overeating that helps people stick to their diet, rather than by reducing normal appetite or food quality.
At the same time, the findings open up new avenues for research into other types of neuropsychiatric disorders associated with impulse control. Thus they put forward the hypothesis that if the MCH neural pathways can be pharmacologically regulated, not only for obesity and overeating, other diseases associated with impulsive behaviors such as addiction or gambling can be developed on this basis.