Hunger hormone linked to memory

July 20, 2005

Scottish scientists say they've determined the hormone that controls the body's hunger pangs may also boost one's memory.

The Dundee University researchers told the BBC they have found a link between the hormone leptin and the brain's memory and learning process. Leptin controls food intake and body weight and staves off the urge to eat.

One of the researchers, Jenni Harvey, told the BBC: "The hormone leptin, which is known to control food intake and body weight, has been shown to exert a profound influence on learning and memory processes in a region of the brain called the hippocampus.

"Leptin enhances the level of communication between brain cells in the hippocampus in a process known as long-term potentiation," Harvey said, noting previous studies demonstrated people suffering from obesity have defects in their leptin levels and in the LTP process.

The group's findings could, therefore, shed light on how obesity affects learning and memory, she said.

The research is being presented during this week's annual BioScience conference, in Glasgow.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Does junk food steal memories?

Related Stories

Does junk food steal memories?

October 13, 2016

Obesity, a multifactorial metabolic disorder, is rapidly increasing in western and developing countries. Nearly 35% of adults over the age of 20 and 50% of adults over the age of 60 have a metabolic syndrome, which may lead ...

Rap1, a potential new target to treat obesity

October 21, 2016

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered a new mechanism in the mouse brain that regulates obesity. The study, which appears ...

Rap1, a potential new target to treat obesity

September 13, 2016

Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered a new mechanism in the mouse brain that regulates obesity. The study, which appears ...

Adolescents' high-fat diet impairs memory and learning

June 17, 2013

A high-fat diet in adolescence appears to have long-lasting effects on learning and memory during adulthood, a new study in mice finds. The results were presented Saturday at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in ...

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Cow gene study shows why most clones fail

December 9, 2016

It has been 20 years since Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned in Scotland, but cloning mammals remains a challenge. A new study by researchers from the U.S. and France of gene expression in developing clones now shows ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.