It may sound bizarre to you readers but if new research is to be believed hunger can help with the creation and retrieval of memories.
This revelation comes from American scientists who found that the hunger hormone ghrelin can help in memory retention. The mechanism is by way of an increase the number of nerve connections in the area of the brain where new memories are formed.
AdvertisementThe Yale University is credited with the study and it features in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
In the words of Professor Stephen Bloom, an expert in appetite regulation at Imperial College London, "Memory can be switched on and off, and often it is switched on at times of stress"
The Yale team has discovered that this hormone seems to impact on the functioning of a second area known as the hippocampus, which is known to be essential to learning. The researchers found mice bred to lack the ghrelin gene had 25% fewer 'synaptic' connections between nerve cells in this area.
"The study provides evidence that ghrelin may control higher brain functions and may represent a molecular link between learning capabilities and energy metabolism." Is how the researchers described it.
The researchers say it might be possible to use the hormone to develop new drugs to combat impaired learning and memory, but warn that weight gain could be a side effect.
This study could be very helpful in furthering the research in direction of neurodegenerative diseases.