Links for Keyword: Anorexia & Bulimia

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Surgically implanting pacemaker-like devices into the brains of people with severe anorexia might help improve their symptoms, a small Canadian study suggests. Anorexia affects an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people in Canada, mainly young women who face a high risk of premature death. The mortality rate is between six to 11 per cent. About 60 to 70 per cent of people with anorexia recover fully with traditional treatments, said Dr. Blake Woodside, medical director of the eating disorders program at Toronto General Hospital. But in Wednesday's online issue of the medical journal The Lancet, Woodside and his co-authors describe using deep brain stimulation to treat six women with severe anorexia that did not respond to treatment. The treatment involves surgery to implant the electrical stimulators. It's considered minimally invasive and the stimulation can be turned off. In the pilot study, the average age of the women at diagnosis was 20 and they ranged in age from 24 to 57 when the surgery was performed. Five had a history of repeated hospital admissions for eating disorders. While the study was meant to test the safety of the procedure, not its effectiveness, Woodside's team found three of the six patients achieved and maintained a body mass index greater than their historical level. © CBC 2013

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 17873 - Posted: 03.07.2013

By LAURA GEGGEL For years, young people — often girls and young women — have frequented Web sites promoting anorexia and bulimia as a source of inspiration and tips on staying thin, even as online companies have worked to ban such content. Now, groups and Web sites focused on recovery from eating disorders are fighting back. “We need to be looking at these communities and see what we can learn from them, and what we can provide as a positive alternative,” said Claire Mysko, manager of Proud2Bme.org, a Web site and online community focused on healthy recovery that is financed by the nonprofit National Eating Disorders Association. “That’s what we’re trying to do here.” This Saturday, the group is taking its message to the University of South Florida in Tampa for its free annual Proud2Bme Summit. Attendees will be encouraged to engage in activities like taking a stand on Twitter against “body snarking,” a bullying tactic that draws attention to a person’s body or weight gain, and hear from speakers including Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old who collected more than 86,000 signatures to petition Seventeen magazine to print one unaltered photo spread a month. “Our goal here is to make it a space where people can connect,” Ms. Mysko said. The site began in 2011 after the success of its Dutch counterpart, Proud2Bme.nl, whose co-founder Scarlet Hemkes struggled with anorexia and bulimia as a teenager and young adult and was horrified to find countless sites where girls competed to lose weight or shared tips on how to lie to parents about weight loss. Inspired by France’s move in 2008 to ban such sites — commonly called pro-ana (for pro-anorexia) sites — Ms. Hemkes collected 10,000 signatures with the hopes of inspiring similar Dutch legislation. When that didn’t work, she created a community on Hyves, a Facebook-like social network for girls with eating disorders, before founding Proud2Bme with a psychologist, Eric van Furth, in 2009. Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 17368 - Posted: 10.13.2012

By ABBY ELLIN After downing 70 chicken wings in about an hour, Andrew Walen realized he had a problem. Oh, he had known something was wrong over the years. Normal people don’t consume 4,500 calories worth of food in one sitting, or order takeout for four when dining alone. But it took a maniacal feeding frenzy for him to finally accept the reality: He was a binge eater, and he had absolutely no control around food. “Ultimately, it was about numbing out and self-loathing,” said Mr. Walen, now 39 and a therapist in Columbia, Md. “There was this voice in my head that said, ‘You’re no good, worthless,’ and I turned to food.” Mr. Walen is one of an estimated eight million men and women in the United States who struggle with binge eating, defined as consuming large amounts of food within a two-hour period at least twice a week without purging, accompanied by a sense of being out of control. While about 10 percent of patients with anorexia and bulimia are men, binge eating is a problem shared almost equally by both sexes. A study published online in October and then in the March issue of The International Journal of Eating Disorders found that among 46,351 men and women ages 18 to 65, about 11 percent of women and 7.5 percent of men acknowledged some degree of binge eating. “Binge eating among men is associated with significant levels of emotional distress, obesity, depression and work productivity impairment,” said Richard Bedrosian, a study author and director of behavioral health and solution development at Wellness and Prevention Inc., which works with employers and health plans. Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 17163 - Posted: 08.14.2012

By Jennifer Huget One of the best-kept secrets among women over 50 is not so secret any more, thanks to a study published last week that shows eating disorders and body-image problems aren’t uncommon among that demographic. There’s been lots of concern over the years about young women’s eating disorders. But a disturbing picture of older women’s bingeing, purging and using extreme measures such as diet drugs, diuretics, laxatives and excessive exercise to promote weight loss is starting to emerge. The new study, conducted through the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and published June 21 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, was based on an online survey of 1,849 women age 50 or older. Their average age was 59, and about 92 percent of respondents were white. Only 42 percent of the women were of normal weight, according guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the others, 29 percent were overweight and 27 percent obese. (Two percent were underweight.) Fully two-thirds of the women reported being unhappy with their appearance. More than one-third — 36 percent — said they’d spent at least half of their past five years dieting. Forty percent said they weighed themselves more than once a week, and — ugh, this sounds familiar — 41 percent reported checking their body daily through such measures as pinching their belly fat or noting whether their thighs rubbed together. And almost 80 percent said their weight and shape was either moderately important to or the most important factor influencing their self-perception. © 2011 The Washington Post Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 16969 - Posted: 06.26.2012

By Yardena Schwartz Brick, N.J.: Lindsey Avon and her 28-year-old husband Victor have been together for 10 years. But when Victor decided to lose some weight in college, Lindsey had no idea what he was really going through. It wasn’t until Victor checked himself into an inpatient eating disorder treatment center that Lindsey, 29, realized her then-boyfriend was fatally anorexic. Santa Cruz, Calif.: Nearly all of Avi Sinai’s school friends were girls, who constantly talked about how “fat” they were and how they longed to be thinner. Avi’s mom and his girlfriends’ mothers were shocked that Avi, just 10 at the time, was the one who succumbed to the obsession with being skinny. Okemos, Mich.: Susan Barry, 60, spends every day wishing she had known more about male anorexia when her son, TJ Warschefsky, was still alive. He died in 2007 at the age of 22 after an eight-year battle with the disease. His heart gave out in the middle of his nightly routine of 1,000 sit-ups. He weighed 78 pounds. “He didn’t want to be skinny,” Barry said of TJ, who was a star athlete and straight-A student. “He wanted a six pack, he wanted rock hard abs. That’s how it all started.” Their stories may sound rare, but experts say cases like Avi Sinai, Victor Avon and TJ Warschefsky are growing more and more common. Far from the world of beauty magazines, pin-thin celebrities and runway models, anorexia is striking what many consider to be an unlikely group: boys and young men. © 2012 msnbc.com

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 16423 - Posted: 02.23.2012

By RONI CARYN RABIN When a malnourished teenager with anorexia nervosa is admitted to the hospital, weight gain is a top priority — and food is medicine. But doctors mete out meals with caution, providing fewer calories than needed at first because the patients may be so frail that major swings in diet can be life-threatening. The strategy, called “start low, advance slow,” often results in further weight or fluid loss during the first day or two of hospitalization. Now some researchers and health providers, both in the United States and abroad, are challenging the start-low approach, suggesting that many patients could be fed more aggressively as long as they are closely monitored for medical complications. Scientific evidence in support of the start-low method has been scarce. In a study published online in The Journal of Adolescent Health in August, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, sought to evaluate it more closely, examining weight gain in hospitalized teenagers on a recommended refeeding protocol, in what they believe is the first study of its kind. The study, which involved 35 young people, found that 83 percent on the start-low regimen, who were fed 1,200 calories a day with increases of 200 calories every other day, lost weight. Over all, patients did not regain the newly lost weight until the sixth day in the hospital, on average. © 2012 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 16210 - Posted: 01.03.2012

Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer The standard approach to feeding patients hospitalized with anorexia nervosa - starting with a low number of calories and increasing them very gradually - is being challenged by new research from UCSF. This approach to bringing malnourished patients back to health was based on the long-held notion that pushing food on them too quickly can result in potentially fatal metabolic imbalance, but researchers now say it fails to produce significant and necessary weight gain in the first week of hospitalization and results in longer hospital stays. The UCSF study, published in next month's issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, suggests that most patients can start at higher calorie levels, tolerate more food and be able to be released from the hospital more quickly. The research is considered the first to test the traditional recommendations against a higher-calorie diet. "The truth is, this is another one of those cases where you have clinical guidelines that are consensus based, but they really aren't based on the evidence," said study lead author Andrea Garber, associate professor of pediatrics in UCSF's adolescent medicine division. The American Psychiatric Association, the American Dietetic Association and other groups recommend the current guidelines, which have been in place since 2000 and stem from studies of prisoners of war in the 1950s. The approach starts with a foundation of about 1,200 calories a day and adds 200 calories every other day. © 2011 Hearst Communications Inc.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 16164 - Posted: 12.19.2011

By Linda Carroll What finally washed away Kari Adams’s denial was the flood of tears streaming down her dad’s face. Frightened by Kari’s plunging weight, her family had been begging the 41-year-old mother of two to seek help for months. But nobody could convince Kari that anything was wrong – until she saw her dad’s tears. “That’s when it hit me,” she said. “He never cried before in my whole life.” Kari’s story echoes that of many other middle-aged women in America. Major transitions and traumatic mid-life events — crumbling marriages, job losses or kids going off to college — can rekindle eating disorders that had begun years before. “It’s rare that an eating disorder shows up completely out of the blue in mid-life,” said Douglas Bunnell, vice president and director of out-patient clinical services at The Renfrew Center, where Kari eventually sought help. The more common scenario, Bunnell said, is the resurgence of a life-long problem. Eating disorder experts are seeing more and more patients like Kari these days. The Renfrew Center has seen a 42 percent increase in the number of women over the age of 35 seeking help. That’s prompted the center to come up with a special program geared to their older patients. Therapists focus on stressors that trigger eating disorders in adults and on the underlying issues inflaming the problem, such as anxiety. “For these people, there’s something soothing about not eating,” Bunnell said. “The eating disorder has become embedded in the way they manage anxiety.” © 2011 MSNBC Interactive

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 15534 - Posted: 07.07.2011

Babies born in spring are slightly more likely to develop anorexia nervosa, while those born in the autumn have a lower risk, say researchers. A report published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests temperature, sunlight, infection or the mother's diet could be responsible. Other academics said the effect was small and the disorder had many causes. The researchers analysed data from four previous studies including 1,293 people with anorexia. The researchers found an "excess of anorexia nervosa births" between March and June - for every seven anorexia cases expected, there were in fact eight. There were also fewer than expected cases in September and October. Dr Lahiru Handunnetthi, one of the report's authors, at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, said: "A number of previous studies have found that mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression are more common among those born in the spring - so this finding in anorexia is perhaps not surprising. "However, our study only provides evidence of an association. Now we need more research to identify which factors are putting people at particular risk." The report suggests seasonal changes in temperature, sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels, maternal nutrition and infections as "strong candidate factors". BBC © 2011

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 14: Biological Rhythms, Sleep, and Dreaming
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 10: Biological Rhythms and Sleep
Link ID: 15274 - Posted: 04.28.2011

By ABBY ELLIN Dr. Suzanne Dooley-Hash believes that she will never fully recover from the anorexia that has plagued her since she was 15 years old. For many years, she did not take laxatives constantly to lose weight, as she did in the mid-1980s, and her health was “relatively O.K.” Thoughts about her weight did not occupy every second of every minute of every day. But in 2005 she relapsed, losing one-third of her body weight in six months. She took off 19 months from her job as an emergency room physician at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor to devote herself to getting her life back in order. Like many patients with eating disorders, however, she is not sure what recovery means. “Does it mean ‘functional?’ ” asked Dr. Dooley-Hash, 45. “I’m a physician at a really high-powered institution, and I’ve published in well-respected journals — I’m functional. I don’t think functionality is necessarily a good measure.” Dr. Dooley-Hash is not alone in her confusion. Most medical experts agree that a third of people with the disorder will remain chronically ill, a third will die of their disorder, and a third will recover — with one significant caveat. There is surprisingly little agreement as to what “recovery” means for people with anorexia. Indeed, just a handful of studies on long-term recovery rates have been conducted over the last decade or so, and different parameters were used in each one. © 2011 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 15266 - Posted: 04.26.2011

By TARA PARKER-POPE More than 10 million Americans suffer from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. And while people tend to think such problems are limited to adolescence and young adulthood, Judith Shaw knows otherwise. A 58-year-old yoga instructor in St. Louis, Ms. Shaw says she was nearing 40 when she decided to “get healthy” after having children. Soon, diet and exercise became an obsession. “I was looking for something to validate myself,” she told me. “Somehow, the weight loss, and getting harder and firmer and trimmer and fitter, and then getting recognized for that, was fulfilling a need.” Experts say that while eating disorders are first diagnosed mainly in young people, more and more women are showing up at their clinics in midlife or even older. Some had eating disorders early in life and have relapsed, but a significant minority first develop symptoms in middle age. (Women with such disorders outnumber men by 10 to 1.) Cynthia M. Bulik, director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, says that though it was initially aimed at adolescents, since 2003 half of its patients have been adults. “We’re hearing from women, no matter how old they are, that they still have to achieve this societal ideal of thinness and perfection,” she said. “Even in their 50s and 60s — and, believe it or not, beyond — women are engaging in extreme weight- and shape-control behaviors.” © 2011 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 15144 - Posted: 03.29.2011

By KATHRYN J. ZERBE, M.D. Reading is an inestimable resource in just about any undertaking, especially so when one discovers a work that performs a real service and is written with passion, accuracy and pragmatism. Such is the case with two unflinching personal narratives on eating disorders, Portia de Rossi’s “Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain” and the 25th anniversary edition of “Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery,” by Lindsey Hall and Leigh Cohn. Both works address a question that often comes up from patients with eating disorders, as well as family members, in my own office practice: “Are there any especially helpful books or resources that can assist in recovery?” Today, when the Internet is full of sites that offer more facts about how to stay obsessed with food or weight than what might be done to recover, it’s a question that’s not always easy to answer. Ms. de Rossi’s “Unbearable Lightness” (Simon & Schuster, 2010) is a mesmerizing account of the devastating psychological and physical effects of self-starvation, excessive exercise and purging. Many readers who know about the range of life-threatening medical consequences of anorexia will still be shaken by seeing the photographs — and reading the wrenching captions — of the actress when, weighing a mere 78 pounds, she collapsed and nearly died. The agony of being scrutinized daily, if not hourly, by others in one’s profession may not be the issue that resonates most deeply for those outside of the worlds of acting or dance. But every patient I have treated in practice will recognize something in the descriptions of harsh self-criticism, denial and pretense that Ms. de Rossi poignantly but realistically makes explicit in her memoir. © 2011 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14934 - Posted: 01.31.2011

By KELLI KENNEDY COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — Hilary Waller remembers begging her mother to let her fast on Yom Kippur. At 10 years old she was a bit too young, but embracing the rigid discipline seemed desperately important. "It felt like I was practicing not eating. It was something that was reassuring and gave me strength and a sense of pride," said Waller, a 28-year-old teacher at a religious school in Blue Bell, Pa. It was the same rush she got years later in college each time she saw the scale tip downward. Waller, who suffered from anorexia, starved herself until she stopped menstruating, lost some of her hair and was exercising several times a day. Health experts say eating disorders are a serious, underreported disease among Orthodox Jewish women and to a lesser extent others in the Jewish community, as many families are reluctant to acknowledge the illness at all and often seek help only when a girl is on the verge of hospitalization. Several studies indicate a rise in the problem, and those who treat eating disorders say they are seeing more Jewish patients. A new documentary, books and facilities have cropped up to help. Waller's family, which belongs to the Conservative branch of Judaism, fasted only on Yom Kippur, but she began fasting on other holidays. "And not for religious reasons," said Waller, who checked into residential treatment after college — more than a decade after she began struggling with the illness. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14765 - Posted: 12.11.2010

By LESLEY ALDERMAN Notoriously difficult to treat, eating disorders may persist for years, wreaking havoc not just on the patient’s health and personal relationships but often on family finances, as well. Hospitalizations for problems caused by eating disorders grew 18 percent from 1999 to 2006, with the steepest rise among children under age 12 (up 119 percent), followed by adults ages 45 to 64 (up 48 percent) and men of all ages (up 37 percent), according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Care for these patients can be expensive. Many must be seen on a weekly basis by a team of specialists, including a psychiatrist, a physician and a nutritionist. A residential program costs $30,000 a month on average. And many patients require three or more months of treatment, often at a facility far from home. Even after leaving a specialized program, patients may need years of follow-up care. Yet most insurers will not cover long-term treatment, and some routinely deny adequate coverage of eating disorders on the grounds that there is not enough evidence on how best to treat them, said Lynn S. Grefe, chief executive of the National Eating Disorders Association. “Eating disorders pose a unique treatment challenge in comparison to other psychiatric illnesses,” said Dr. Evelyn Attia, director of the eating disorders research program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. “They are not always easy to diagnose, and insurers are often not well informed about which treatments work." Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14740 - Posted: 12.04.2010

Eating disorders are sending more U.S. children to hospital and pediatricians should be on the lookout for patients suspected of having a problem, according to a new report. Among children younger than 12 with eating disorders, hospitalizations jumped 119 per cent between 1999 and 2006, says the clinical report in Monday's edition of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is estimated 0.5 per cent of adolescent girls in the United States have anorexia nervosa (self-starvation), and one to two per cent meet criteria for bulimia nervosa (bingeing and purging), the report said. Since eating disorders can affect any organ system, pediatricians should monitor patients for medical or nutritional problems, and ensure treatment such as medical care, mental-health treatment and nutritional intervention, the report's authors recommended. "Pediatricians are encouraged to advocate for legislation and policies that ensure appropriate services for patients with eating disorders, including medical care, nutritional intervention, mental-health treatment and care co-ordination," conclude report author Dr. David Rosen of the University of Michigan and his co-authors. There is an increasing recognition of eating disorders in males, who make up 10 per cent of all cases. The disorders are increasingly seen in children. © CBC 2010

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14723 - Posted: 11.30.2010

By RONI CARYN RABIN At their first family therapy session, Rina Ranalli and her husband tried to coax their anorexic 13-year-old daughter to eat a bagel with cream cheese. What followed was a protracted negotiation. The girl said she would eat it only if she could have it plain, with nothing on it. The parents countered that they really wanted her to eat it with the cream cheese. Her last offer: she would eat half. “Does this happen at every meal?” the therapist, Daniel Le Grange, asked them, Ms. Ranalli recalled. He added gently, “It has to stop.” “It’s anorexic debate, and it’s really not helpful,” Dr. Le Grange said later in an interview. “I will usually turn to the parents and say: ‘Mom and Dad — it’s your decision what she has to eat. You have to make the choices for her, because the anorexia doesn’t allow her to think clearly.’ ” Unlike traditional treatments for anorexia nervosa in adolescents, in which the patient sees the therapist one on one, this kind of family-based treatment encourages parents to play a pivotal role in restoring their child’s weight while trying to avoid hospitalizations. It is a demanding program: for the first two weeks of treatment, at least one parent must be available around the clock to supervise meals and snacks, and monitor children between meals to make sure they do not burn off the calories with excessive exercise. Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14571 - Posted: 10.19.2010

By ROBIN POGREBIN ANDREW AVRIN sits on a beige couch in a nondescript room, a fruit still-life partly visible on the wall behind him, twisting his fingers while, off-camera, an unseen interviewer prompts him to talk about his sister, Melissa, who died last year at the age of 19 after a long battle with bulimia. “There was no food in the house,” he says, looking off to the side as his eyes fill. “If I went out with friends, I could not bring leftovers home because they would be gone by the next morning.” Once, he explains, in the middle of a bitterly cold night, he looked out the window and saw Melissa on the curb, going through the garbage. “I went outside and I yelled her name,” he recounts in the interview, his voice breaking. “Just the way she looked back at me — it was so empty, vacant. It was a deer in the headlights, but that doesn’t even explain it.” It is a hard scene for anyone to watch, but even more so for the film’s producer — Judy Avrin, Melissa’s mother, who decided to make a documentary about her daughter’s life and, ultimately, her death. People deal with grief in their own ways, and those who have been spared the loss of a daughter or a son can only imagine how they would choose to try to cope. For Ms. Avrin, coping meant confronting her anguish and trying to make something good come out of it. Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14007 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By GARDINER HARRIS, BENEDICT CAREY and JANET ROBERTS When Anya Bailey developed an eating disorder after her 12th birthday, her mother took her to a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota who prescribed a powerful antipsychotic drug called Risperdal. Created for schizophrenia, Risperdal is not approved to treat eating disorders, but increased appetite is a common side effect and doctors may prescribe drugs as they see fit. Anya gained weight but within two years developed a crippling knot in her back. She now receives regular injections of Botox to unclench her back muscles. She often awakens crying in pain. Isabella Bailey, Anya’s mother, said she had no idea that children might be especially susceptible to Risperdal’s side effects. Nor did she know that Risperdal and similar medicines were not approved at the time to treat children, or that medical trials often cited to justify the use of such drugs had as few as eight children taking the drug by the end. Just as surprising, Ms. Bailey said, was learning that the university psychiatrist who supervised Anya’s care received more than $7,000 from 2003 to 2004 from Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal’s maker, in return for lectures about one of the company’s drugs. Doctors, including Anya Bailey’s, maintain that payments from drug companies do not influence what they prescribe for patients. Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 10282 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Alison Motluk Anorexia and ecstasy use activate some of the same brain pathways, according to researchers who used mice to arrive at their conclusions. The findings hint that the condition works in a similar way to drug addiction, and may also point the way towards new drugs treatments for the eating disorder. Those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa restrict their food intake even though they may be in desperate need of energy. The condition has one of the highest mortality rates for any mental disorder, and there are few effective treatments currently available. Valerie Compan at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Montpellier, France, is one of a growing number of researchers who believes that anorexia works in a similar way to addiction and that sufferers become "hooked" on the self-control involved. After noticing that ecstasy (also called MDMA) use induces appetite suppression, she decided to investigate possible similarities further. Compan and colleagues focused on the nucleus accumbens, a reward centre in the brain with a high density of serotonin receptors – known as 5-HT4 receptors – that are known to play a role in addictive behaviour. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 10800 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Out-of-control binge eating is a widespread eating disorder in the US, and more common than anorexia and bulimia combined, according to the first national survey of such disorders. Binge eating afflicts 3.5% of US women and 2.0% of men at some point in their lives, the survey of more than 9000 people revealed. By comparison, it found that 0.9% of women and 0.3% of men reported having suffered from anorexia nervosa – a disorder characterised by an obsessive desire to be thin. And 1.5% of women and 0.5% of men reported the condition of bulimia, in which binge eating is followed by self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives. "The most striking finding is the emergence of binge eating as a major public-health problem," says study leader James Hudson of Harvard’s McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, US. Binge eating is defined as occurring when people cannot stop from eating well beyond the point of being full at least twice a week. Hudson believes it is a chronic and persistent condition in the US that is under-reported and under-diagnosed. Researchers say that this type of bingeing is contributing to a rise in obesity. "I suspect that the connection that we have drawn in this study is just the tip of the iceberg of the problem of out-of-control eating and its relationship to obesity," Hudson says. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 9912 - Posted: 06.24.2010