Ghrelin is a gastric hormone that stimulates growth hormone (GH) secretion and food intake to regulate energy homeostasis
and body weight by binding to its receptor, GH secretagogue receptor (GHSR1a), which is most highly expressed in the pituitary and hypothalamus.
Nowadays there is considerable evidence showing that the GHSR1a is also expressed in numerous extra-hypothalamic neuronal
populations and the physiological role of ghrelin is by far wider than considered before including learning and memory, anxiety,
depression and neuroprotection. The present review attempts to provide a comprehensive picture of the role of ghrelin in the central
nervous system and to highlight recent findings showing its potential as an innovative therapeutic agent in neurodegenerative diseases including
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Keywords: Ghrelin, neuroprotection, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, learning and memory, anxiety, depression
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