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Explaining chemotherapy-associated nausea
Date:1/30/2008

stine to the brain. Cutting the same nerve, known as the common hepatic branch of the vagus nerve, also lessened the reduction of food intake and loss of body weight.

These results suggest that the upper intestine is an important site for generation of the nausea and appetite loss associated with chemotherapy drugs.

The findings also help to define the neural systems involved in nausea and malaise, which can significantly impact the nutritional status of patients receiving potent drug treatments for diseases such as cancer or AIDS.

This nerve may be part of a natural detection system that we use to detect toxins in food, and it is possible that we are activating it with these strong medications, comments senior author Charles Horn, PhD, a behavioral neuroscientist at Monell.

Increased understanding of this system will enable development of specific blockers to reduce nausea and improve quality of life during chemotherapy and related therapeutic regimens.

Future studies also will evaluate whether the vagus nerve contributes to other side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as altered taste perception, fatigue, and stress.


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Contact: Leslie Stein
stein@monell.org
267-519-4707
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Source:Eurekalert

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