A young Canadian woman lost hunger for about a year after suffering a stroke. The unusual case caught the attention of a team of doctors led by Dr. Dang Khoa Nguyen of the University of Montreal, who described it in a scientific article published this month in the journal. Neurocase.
The 28-year-old patient was admitted to a clinic last year with paralysis of the right side of the body and obvious speech disturbances. Through an MRI, the specialists diagnosed a left insular lobe ischemic stroke (part of the cerebral cortex located deep in the lateral sulcus of the brain). This condition occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops for more than a few seconds and the brain stops receiving nutrients. As a result, your cells can die and cause permanent damage.
Eleven days later, the Canadian recovered from her illness and was discharged. Six months after her illness, however, she realized that in that period she had never experienced a sensation of hunger. Without noticing it, he was skipping some meals. At first, he paid no attention to it, believing it was a consequence of illness and fatigue.
But seven months after her hospitalization, the young woman decided to inform the doctors of her situation. Specialists from the University of Montreal examined her and found that her body did not feel any physiological signals that it was time to eat (for example, bowel sounds). Although he had no problems with the perception of the taste, smell and texture of the food, the loss of appetite caused that his favorite foods and products, they will stop giving you pleasure.
16 months after the stroke, the patient returned to the doctors for a new study and informed them that, a month earlier, the feeling of hunger He had returned. In everything is time I had lost 13 kilograms (went from 73 to 60 kilos), but did not experience any other symptoms. “The loss of hunger was not attributed to medication, substance use or a clinical disorder, and lasted a period of 15 months,” the study emphasizes.
In this context, Nguyen and his colleagues related the problem directly to the cerebral infarction and pointed out that it was the first case described in medical literature. As they specified, the insular lobe generally assesses the physiological state of the body, playing an important role in processing taste signals and participating in appetite control and energy balance. Given that its function was affected in the patient in question, it is presumed that it caused a imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. That same lobe is associated with the nervous system parasympathetic and, in general, damage to these pathways could negatively affect the ability to perceive hunger.
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