Scientists Identify the Role of CCK in Controlling Blood Glucose Levels

For diabetes patients, properly managing blood sugar is extremely important for avoiding the complications associated with the disease. In addition, patients often struggle with managing blood sugar because there is no method that has yet been proven to be 100% effective. The complications from diabetes can range from blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and even death.


A new study done by scientists and the United States and UK has revealed how the brain is able to sense low levels of glucose and respond. The researchers believe that the finding from the study could help to create better strategies for more effectively managing blood sugar levels.


The researchers looked at an area of the brain, known as the parabrachial nucleus. In the parabrachial nucleus, they discovered that a hormone, known as cholescystokinin (CCK), works to sense blood glucose levels and controls responses to the body when the levels of glucose in the blood become to low.


CCK was previously identified as having a role in appetite and anxiety. However, it is is the first time that CCK had been linked to blood sugar level control. The findings from the investigation were published to the journal Nature Neuroscience. Dr. Martin Myers, from the University of Michigan and Professor Lora Heisler, from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health collaborated with researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Michigan, and Chicago for this study.


The researchers also believe that identifying the exact pathways that are affected by CCK could be helpful for the roughly 20% of diabetes patients that have regular problems with complications caused by low blood sugar levels.

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