Insights into food disorders with mice study

Portuguese research, has found a new link between the digestive and nervous systems which could lead to a better understanding on eating-related disorders (also available in Portuguese).

Credit: Gil Costa

The team at EARA member the Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, fed food directly into the stomach of mice, to focus on the post-ingestion effects of the food, rather than its taste.

The findings published in Neuron show that, even without tasting the food, the mice selected high-calorie food rather than low-calorie.

The scientists then looked at how information about nutritional value reaches the brain and found that when a cranial nerve was damaged, the mice were unable to acquire this new type of learning.

Albino Oliveira-Maia, at Champalimaund, believes the work gives fundamental insights into feeding behaviour, and could help to understand and treat obesity.

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