Obesity is one of the most complex challenges of our time. Today, over one third of the adults in the United States are obese. Our future may not be any better based on a recent study predicting over 57% of today’s American children will be obese by the time they reach the age of 35.
To address complex challenges, we must understand the impacting elements (determinats of health) that may need to be addressed to achieve the mission. Our National Institute of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins, writes that we may have discovered new determinants of obesity: neuronal projections on brain cells.
Obesity involves the complex interplay of diet, lifestyle, genetics, and even the bacteria living in the gut. But there are other less-appreciated factors that are likely involved, and a new NIH-supported study suggests one that you probably never would have imagined: antenna-like sensory projections on brain cells.
The study in mice, published in the journal Nature Genetics , suggests these neuronal projections, called primary cilia, are a key part of a known “hunger circuit,” which receives signals from other parts of the body to control appetite. See more