Dopamine: How It Affects The Brain’s Pleasure System and Causes Obesity
University of Alberta researchers have learned that dopamine, a chemical in the brain’s pleasure system, is also linked to the cellular memory and obesity.
Dopamine: How It Is Linked To Obesity and The Obesity Epidemic
For quite some time, scientists knew that dopamine is released by the brain as a response in the rewarding stimulus to things like food or drugs. However, it’s the first time scientists have found a mechanism linking it to the brain’s cell learning. The finding is exciting because it’s an important clue to the fundamental causes to both dependence and obesity, which could also lead to a “cure” for both ailments.
The majority of folks experience pleasure when they consume certain foods and they don’t need scientific proof to prove it. But, according to various experiments, highly calorie, tasty foods will release the chemical dopamine, which gives people a euphoric high. The observation clearly shows the role dopamine has in food obsession that will eventually lead to obesity.
It’s been found that memories are also made in relation to where the rewarding stimuli are being expected. This allows people to remember where to find the same reward in the future.
Department of Pharmacology Professor Bill Colmers along with his research group conducted the study to learn what effect the chemical had on certain memory-forming brain cells. The research found the exact apparatus that tied dopamine to spatial learning, the memory of the area linked with a reward.
They were able to watch dopamine produce the brain’s excitability and open up a biological pathway for memory making where the reward is seen. Researchers also noted Neuropeptide Y, another brain chemical, would block the connections and keep the memory between the location and reward from taking shape.
The study’s results give people a better understanding of how the human brain learns and creates reward-cued spatial memories. This information could potentially be instrumental in helping food or drug addictions find a method that helps them to disconnect the memory from the good stimuli feeling.
Food addiction is, without a doubt, the principal cause for obesity, and it’s an issue that isn’t easily and readily solved with weight loss surgery. The more researchers and scientists learn about the body and the brain connection, the closer they find an effective treatment for obesity and obsession.
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