A new report in Biological Psychiatry suggests that deficits in endocannabinoid function may contribute to anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Endocannabinoids are substances made by the brain that affect brain function and chemistry in ways that resemble the effects of cannabis derivatives, including marijuana and hashish. These commonly abused drugs are well known to increase appetite, i.e. to cause the “munchies”. Thus, it makes sense that deficits in this brain system would be associated with reduced appetite.
Tag Archives | Bulimia
Bulimia nervosa is a severe eating disorder associated with episodic binge eating followed by extreme behaviors to avoid weight gain such as self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, or excessive exercise. It is poorly understood how brain function may be involved in bulimia. A new study led by Guido Frank, MD, assistant professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Director, Developmental Brain Research Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, studied the brain response to a dopamine related reward-learning task in bulimic and healthy women.
Individuals who have eating disorders have an elevated mortality rate, especially those with anorexia nervosa (AN), according to a meta-analysis of previous studies, reported in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The research was carried out by Jon Arcelus, L.M.S., M.Sc., M.R.C.Psych., Ph.D., from Leicester General Hospital in Leicester, England, and colleagues.
One in 10 women experience depression during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth. Although the problem has received increased attention in recent years, little is known about the causes or early-warning signs of pregnancy-related depression. In a study published in the June 2011 issue of Journal of Women’s Health, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine offer new clues to help doctors identify at-risk patients and refer them to treatment early on.
Children as young as ten are making themselves vomit in order to lose weight and the problem is more common in boys than girls, according to a study of nearly 16,000 school pupils published online early, ahead of print publication, by the Journal of Clinical Nursing. The findings have prompted researchers to issue a warning that self-induced vomiting is an early sign that children could develop eating disorders and serious psychological problems, such as binge eating and anorexia. The full text version of this study is available for free for an unknown length of time; check the end of this report for a download link.
The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) — a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment and prevention — is pleased to announce a new informational resource, “Eating Disorders: Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders,” which is now freely accessible on their website. Check the end of this report for a link to download this publication.
About 3 percent of U.S. adolescents are affected by an eating disorder, but most do not receive treatment for their specific eating condition, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print March 7, 2011, in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Kathleen Merikangas, Ph.D., of NIMH and colleagues analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a nationally representative, face-to-face survey of more than 10,000 teens ages 13 to 18.
Women suffering from anorexia or bulimia draw themselves with prominently different characteristics than women who do not have eating disorders and who are considered of normal weight. This has been revealed in a new joint study from the University of Haifa, Soroka University Medical Center and Achva Academic College, Israel, published in The Arts in Psychotherapy. Included in this report are sample drawings from women with anorexia, bulimia, and no eating disorder.