ATLANTA - Neuroscientists at the Yerkes Primate Research Center of Emory University have discovered in the brain a novel neurotransmitter that helps control food intake and seems to be partially responsible for the feeling of satiety. The finding may eventually be used to develop medications for obesity, a life-threatening, yet common condition that often lies at the root of other serious illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study will be reported in the journal Synapse (vol 29, No. 4), available in May on the Synapse website. The neurotransmitter is called CART peptide, for Cocaine and Amphetamine Regulated Transcript, and its role in feeding was found during studies on the effects of cocaine on the brain. Yerkes neuroscientist Pastor Couceyro was one of the first to notice in rodents that CART mRNA increased in a specific area of the brain when cocaine was administered..
The above story is based on materials provided by Yerkes Primate Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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