Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness. They don’t discriminate, affecting people of all ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, ages and backgrounds. However, one group is disproportionately affected by these disorders: people on the autism spectrum.
A world first clinical study of the gut microbiome in people with Huntington's disease (HD) has found that it is not just a disease of the brain, but also of the body. The study, led by Monash University's Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, with collaboration from the Florey Institute for Neurosciences found evidence of gut dysbiosis (altered bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract) in people with HD, with some of the gut measures associated with disease symptoms, such as impaired movements and thinking.
Despite our broad understanding of the different brain regions activated during rapid-eye-movement sleep, little is known about what this activity serves for. Researchers at the University of Bern and the Inselspital have now discovered that the activation of neurons in the hypothalamus during REM sleep regulates eating behavior: suppressing this activity in mice decreases appetite.