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How The Brain Works To Make You Thirsty

Aug 04, 2016 10:20 PM EDT
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Thirst has always been a feeling that prompts us to pick a glass of water and gulp it down. As soon as the water reaches our mouth we are relieved of the dying quench.

Most of us haven't understood how our brains actually function to make us thirsty. In both animals and humans, the thirst faculty seems to work really fast. Recently, a research was published on Nature where the function of the brain was identified. As per the study, a group of neurons responds to the feelings and makes us want to drink, these neurons also send signals to stop our quench.

It is these neurons that makes us want to drink water even before our mind forces us to drink water. This explains why drinking water quenches thirst way before it even reaches the circulation and changes the composition.

Researcher Zachary Knight, an assistant professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and his team studied the part of the brain that maintains the fluid balance. The research was done on a mice ad it was understood that the neurons in the brain of the mice is what made them drink water. It was also observed that a pinch of salt could stimulate their want for water. And, cold water can help the neurons go down as well.

For the research, they gave the mice water to drink after not allowing it to drink water all night. The researchers identified that the SFO or the subfornical organ neurons began its work. It seemed like the SFO neurons worked in the animal's mouth. When the neurons were deactivated, the mice stopped drinking the water.

"Until recently, it wasn't clear which neurons were the 'thirst neurons,'" he said. "But now that we can image these neurons in a living animal, we're able to learn more." Said Knight as per STAT.

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