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Monday, February 20, 2006

Hunger pangs 'may trigger memory'

New research suggests it may be wise to revise for and sit exams on an empty stomach as hunger can help with the creation and retrieval of memories.

American scientists found the hunger hormone ghrelin can increase the number of nerve connections in the area of the brain where new memories are formed.

The study raises hopes of drugs to treat impaired learning and memory in diseases such as Alzheimer's.

The Yale University study features in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Ghrelin is released by the empty stomach into the bloodstream, and is known to activate receptors throughout the brain.

Scientists already knew that the hormone acts on an area of the brain called the hypothalamus to trigger feelings of hunger.



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