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Details for Dr Nina Balthasar

Personal details
Name Dr Nina Balthasar
Job title Reader in Neuroscience
Department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience University of Bristol
Contact details This expert can be contacted via the University of Bristol Public Relations Office.

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work+44 (0)117 331 8092
Qualifications BSc(Bochum), PhD(Lond)
Professional details
Keywords obesity
metabolic disorders
central nervous system
body energy homeostasis
body weight
Areas of expertise Obesity and its related metabolic disorders are among the most pressing of today’s health-care concerns. The epidemic proportions of obesity (23.6% of UK adults are classed as ‘obese’ today) highlight the acute need for scientific advances to identify new therapeutic approaches. However, to identify targets for these novel therapies a more detailed understanding of how the central nervous system controls body energy homeostasis is urgently needed. Obesity is the result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy spending. Specialized brain structures, such as the hypothalamus, can sense the body’s energy status, integrate this information and elicit an appropriate response to the rest of the body. Recent research has begun to unravel some of the neuronal pathways regulating body weight, but the exact mechanisms by which signals from the rest of the body are sensed and translated into a coordinated response are still unclear.