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Tracy Briggs

Dr Clémence Blouet

The Consequences of High-Fat Intake on the Hypothalamus and the Mechanism Behind Obesity

Obesity and its associated conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are major health threats worldwide. Research has failed to develop safe therapeutics to treat obesity as we have been unable to fully characterize the mechanisms underlying eating and weight gain. The brain plays a huge role in the regulation of energy balance. Specialized brain cells in the hypothalamus process information about ingested food and fat stores, directly regulating food intake, energy expenditure or storage. Recent research indicates that a diet high in fat can cause these brain cells to change in type and number, through a process called adult neurogenesis. Clémence’s research will improve our understanding of the consequences of a high-fat diet on the plasticity of these cells in the hypothalamus and how this in turn, affects the body’s energy balance. She hopes that this understanding will lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets to treat obesity.

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