Washington: A researcher at the University of Alberta have uncovered a mechanism underlying some forms of obesity and addictions, which could lead to a treatment for both diseases.
When the scientists stimulated dopamine receptors they found that cellular learning was strengthened. While doing the same experiment with neuropeptide Y, applied together with dopamine, it prevented long-term potentiation from happening The group also did this in human brain slices taken from patients undergoing therapy for temporal lobe epilepsy.The human brain cells showed the same properties as cells found in rats, and they also undergo dopamine-dependent cellular learning when stimulated in the same fashion as the laboratory models. Considering Colmers and his group``s major focus is in obesity, this is a very exciting finding. "You can find the fridge and you know there``s good stuff in there, so you can find it in your sleep, and people do. So there``s this whole reward aspect to place that we``ve been able to unravel," said Colmers. These results help explain the mechanisms that underlie the formation of reward-cued spatial memories in both the laboratory model and human dentate gyrus.Understanding this mechanism not only explains the biology of an important form of learning, but may also lead to potential treatments for addiction and obesity. ANI
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