CALTECH - PASADENA, CA :  How does the brain tell us that we are thirsty?

A new study maps the  brain circuits that tell us when we need to drink water, as well as when we have had just bout enough.

The research uncovered a neural hierarchy by stimulating and suppressing the drink in mice.

We all need water, but how do our brains tell us it's time to drink? Feeling thirsty is a sensation that everyone and every animal is familiar with. It is an experience so common that few of us give it a thought.

But neuroscientists are fascinated with it:

In relation to the survival of an organism, thirst is incredibly important. An animal that doesn't take on fluids when it needs them will not be alive for long.

Without water, most of the processes within the body will seize up, and in humans, death follows in a short number of days.

Although the idea that our brain can detect water levels in the body and drive our desire to drink is not new, the exact neuroscience behind it is only slowly being fleshed out.

The most recent study to investigate the thirst mechanism was carried out by Yuki Oka, an assistant professor of biology at Caltech in Pasadena, CA.

The findings were published this week in Nature.

Some work has already been done in the area. Studies have shown that a sheet-like structure in the forebrain, the lamina terminals [LT] is important in thirst regulation.

The latest publishing on World Operational Research on biology and human constructs continues to Part 2.


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