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Term of the Day: Parasubthalamic Nucleus

Helping us to feel full.

Illustration of brain and Parasubthalamic Nucleus

A team of researchers at the University of Arizona has discovered that this region of the brain is responsible for the feeling of satiation we experience after eating. In other words, the neural circuitry in the parasubthalamic nucleus (PSTh) governs the feeling of being full
following a meal.

Their report in Molecular Metabolism determined that cholecystokinin—the hormone that is secreted by the gut in response to eating—activates neurons in the PSTh to suppress the desire to keep feeding.

While this discovery opens the potential for better targeted treatments for diet-related weight gain, the study authors stress that parasubthalamic nucleus is likely just one piece in a larger puzzle that controls the feeling of satiation. It is still likely that multiple brain regions are working together to regulate our food intake.

See also: Can’t Resist the Cookie Jar? Blame the Makeup of Your Brain

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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