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Shree Vijayaswathi Senthil Kumar: The Goldilocks Effect: Fine-tuning ‘just the right’ dose of hormones in the brain

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In ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, Goldilocks finds that only one bowl of porridge out of the three has “just the right temperature”. In Biology, this Goldilocks principle is also known as hormesis. For example, the brain develops by making new neural connections when exposed to ‘just the right amount (mild)’ of stress compared to ‘no stress’. This development declines when the brain is exposed to ‘too much stress’. My research focuses on identifying the goldilocks/hormesis zone for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), stroke and obesity by understanding the release and effect of melanocortin hormones in the brain.

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University of Auckland

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