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According to ScienceAlert (This article and its images were originally posted on ScienceAlert September 21, 2018 at 11:22PM.)
New research with mice may upend our understanding of the connection between the gut and the brain, as well as appetite.
If you’ve ever felt nauseous before an important presentation, or foggy after a big meal, then you know the power of the gut-brain connection.
Scientists now believe that a surprising array of conditions, including appetite disorders, obesity, arthritis, and depression, may get their start in the gut. But it hasn’t been clear how messages in this so-called “second brain” spread from our stomachs to our cerebrum.
For decades, researchers believed that hormones in the bloodstream were the indirect channel between the gut and the brain.
Recent research suggests the lines of communication behind that “gut feeling” is more direct and speedy than a diffusion of hormones.
Using a rabies virus jacked up with green fluorescence, researchers traced a signal as it traveled from the intestines to the brainstem of mice. They were shocked to see the signal cross a single synapse in under 100 milliseconds – that’s faster than the blink of an eye.
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