Energy homeostasis requires a balance between food intake and energy expenditure. Neurons in the hypothalamus and brainstem detect signals from the gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissue, and other peripheral organs and integrate this information to provide appropriate responses to ensure energy balance. This chapter will examine the central neuronal circuits involved in the control of hunger, satiety, and energy homeostasis. In addition to conveying pertinent information about short-and long-term energy status, the hypothalamus and brainstem provide input to higher cortical and limbic areas involved in voluntary and hedonic control of eating behavior. Understanding these mechanisms will aid the management of obesity and associated metabolic diseases.
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