Links for Keyword: Anorexia & Bulimia

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There's a general perception that eating disorders like anorexia primarily affect white girls. "When you read, in the media for example, about eating disorders, invariably they are portrayed as problems of white women," says Ruth Striegel-Moore, a psychology professor at Wesleyan University. As shown on PBS's NOVA, 8 million people in America, mostly young women, suffer from anorexia, or self-starvation. But does it equally affect all races? "There aren’t a lot of large, systematic studies that have looked at that question," says Striegel-Moore, who recently published a study looking at the race and anorexia in the American Journal of Psychiatry. So Striegel-Moore and her team surveyed 2,046 young black and white women with an average age of 21, and found that black women were less likely to get certain eating disorders—especially anorexia. "We found no case of a black young woman with anorexia nervosa in this study," says Striegel-Moore. "We’re not looking at risk factors for anorexia nervosa in this study, but what may be going on is that black women are…under less pressure to be super thin. In fact, there’s quite a bit of research that shows that black women prefer to be moderately thin—they don’t want to be skinny-thin—whereas white women…you can never be thin enough, so to speak, as a body ideal. So as a culture, black culture may have protective factors, so that even if a black woman may have the genetic vulnerability to anorexia nervosa, it may not get expressed because she grows up in a context that may be protective." © ScienCentral, 2000-2003.

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: 4087 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By MARY DUENWALD Did you know that it's Beautiful Women Month?" a frequently forwarded e-mail message asks, before making a few pertinent statements. Here's a sampling: "Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14"; "If Barbie was a real woman, she'd have to walk on all fours"; and "The average woman weighs 144 lb. and wears between a 12-14." There are more "facts on figures," not all of them are perfectly accurate. Ms. Monroe, who was 5 feet 5 1/2 inches and weighed between 118 to 135 pounds, may have been just busty enough to fill out a size 14, but partly because sizes were smaller in the 1950's. And Barbie is indeed disproportionate — a 1995 study found that for a woman with an average body type to attain Barbie's shape, she would need to grow 24 inches (making her more than 7 feet tall), take 6 inches off her waist and add 5 to her chest. But if she came to life, she could presumably still walk upright, the director of the study said. As for the average woman's weight today, it has jumped to 152 pounds in the 90's from 144 in the late 70's.

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: 3960 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BOSTON, — Binge eaters who say they cannot help it may have a point. A study suggests a gene may contribute to the cause of binge eating in some people. Researchers said they hoped the finding would point the way to a pill that could bring appetites under control. The Swiss-German-American study makes the strongest case yet that a genetic mutation can cause an eating disorder, the researchers say. Researchers generally believe that eating behavior is complex and cultural in its causes. Copyright 2003 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: 3586 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By GINIA BELLAFANTE IN her 23 years as a specialist in eating disorders, Dr. Margo Maine has received countless telephone calls from women worried that their teenage daughters might be dieting into a danger zone. But several years ago, Dr. Maine, a psychologist who runs an eating-disorders treatment program with a partner in West Hartford, Conn., noticed a shift in the telephone inquiries. "Increasingly, our calls began to include a significant number of adults seeking help not for their children but for themselves," Dr. Maine said. Some of those callers — women in their late 40's and early 50's — were relapsing after overcoming eating disorders in their youth, and others were experiencing them for the first time. Naomi Burton Isaacs, a public relations executive in New York, had been obsessed about her weight most of her life, she said, but it was only at age 45 that her dieting grew extreme and she developed an addiction to laxatives. She swallowed 25 pills a day. Ms. Burton Isaacs, who is 5-foot-9, withered to 105 pounds. Copyright 2003 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: 3530 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By HARRIET BROWN We stood in front of the freezer case at the grocery store, my 16-year-old daughter, Kitty, and I. It was late, and I was tired, but we had come out for a few items that couldn’t wait until morning. One of them was ice cream. “How about this vanilla?” I asked, rubbing away condensation on the freezer door to peer at a label. Then I shook my head and said: “Never mind. It’s 140 calories a half-cup.” I opened the door, rummaged and pulled out a different pint of vanilla. That one was also 140 calories. Not good enough. Meanwhile, my daughter was a few cases away, holding up a pint of coffee ice cream. Together we read the back of the carton and rejected it. A pint of caramel cappuccino swirl was an improvement, but I thought we could do better. And I was right. We took home three pints of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream, with 270 calories in every half-cup. Like many Americans, I can be obsessive about reading food labels. Only I’m looking for more calories, not fewer, because my daughter Kitty is in recovery from anorexia. Her weight has been restored for more than a year, and in many ways she is as normal as a teenager gets. But when it comes to eating, she still has to pay attention in a different way. Copyright 2007 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: 11078 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By PAUL SCOTT FOR a runner, Alex DeVinny wasn’t all that skinny on the day that she won a state track title in 2003. At 17, she was 5-foot-8 and weighed 125 pounds. Few people watching her run the 3,200 meters in 10 minutes 53 seconds would have guessed that she had had symptoms of an eating disorder since age 9 and that she had yet to start menstruating. Her coach didn’t know. The college recruiters certainly did not know. She was never going to run for those colleges. The summer after she won the title, Ms. DeVinny, from Racine, Wis., began to run even harder and eat even less. When she came out for cross-country in the fall, she looked frail and underweight. Her coach was concerned enough to prevent her from competing in several meets, but he allowed her to do two-thirds of her training. He never asked about her menstrual periods and did not know about her anorexia. Ms. DeVinny sneaked in extra workouts, but her dazzling window of athleticism had already begun to close. “Her body kind of broke down during her senior year,” said her sister Gabby Fekete, 27. “She had lived on adrenaline.” Last March, Ms. DeVinny died from cardiac arrest related to her starvation. She was 20 and weighed roughly 70 pounds. Looking back, her coach, Dan Jarrett, questions himself. “I did not understand how someone with anorexia would be capable of making decisions that weren’t in their best interest,” he said. “I totally failed to grasp what it meant.” He is so troubled by her death that he has since quit coaching girls. Copyright 2006 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: 9345 - Posted: 06.24.2010

For years we’ve been told to blame our obsession with thinness on society's glorification of it, and that eating disorders like anorexia were "social diseases." But research shows that genetics likely plays a big role too. "If there's any disorder that's going to be caused by both nature and nurture, it's something like an eating disorder," says Cynthia Bulik, professor of psychiatry and director of the eating disorders program at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "It was believed for a long time that these were socio-cultural disorders, that somehow our culture or the emphasis on thinness caused anorexia. But we know now that that's not entirely true." The first sign of a genetic link came from surveys of families where anorexia appeared. "Family studies show that if you have a family member who has an eating disorder, you're between seven and twelve times at greater risk for developing an eating disorder yourself," says Bulik. "What we can't tell from family studies is whether the reason something runs in a family is because of genes or environment. So we've done twin studies to ask that question and we've found indeed that anorexia is a strongly heritable condition." © ScienCentral, 2000-2003

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: 4064 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D. Marya Hornbacher is a virtuoso writer: humorous, articulate and self-aware. She is also, as she has now documented in two books, incurably mentally ill. Even on the best possible treatment, Ms. Hornbacher tiptoes along the same high wire as Plath, Lowell, Woolf and the rest of the unbalanced artistes. Off medication, she reliably falls into a turmoil of confused self-destruction, which, as she would be the first to acknowledge, means heartbreak and worry for her friends and relatives, challenges for her doctors, and, in the age-old contradiction, new fodder for her muse. For scientists trying to parse the mystery of brain and mind, she is one more case of the possible link between mental illness and artistic creativity. With all our scans and neurotransmitters, we are not much closer to figuring out that relationship than was Lord Byron, who announced that poets are “all crazy” and left it at that. But effective drugs make the question more urgent now: would Virginia Woolf, medicated, have survived to write her final masterpiece, or would she have spent her extra years happily shopping? Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 11568 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Binge eating is not yet officially classified as a psychiatric disorder. But it may be more common than the two eating disorders now recognized, anorexia nervosa and bulimia. The first nationally representative study of eating disorders in the United States, a nationwide survey of more than 2,900 men and women, was published by Harvard researchers in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. It found a prevalence in the general population of 0.6 percent for anorexia, 1 percent for bulimia and 2.8 percent for binge-eating disorder. Lifetime rates of the disorders, the researchers found, are higher in younger age groups, suggesting that the problem is increasingly common. Eating disorders are about twice as common among women as men, the study reports. Experts not involved in the study called it significant. “This is probably the best study yet conducted of the frequencies of eating disorders in American households,” said Dr. B. Timothy Walsh, director of the eating disorders research unit of the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center. “It confirms that anorexia nervosa and bulimia are uncommon but serious illnesses, especially among women,” Dr. Walsh said. “It also finds that many more individuals, especially those with significant obesity, are troubled by binge eating, and underscores the need to better understand this problem.” Copyright 2007 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: 9959 - Posted: 06.24.2010

You may think you know the back of your hand like, well, the back of your hand. But scientists have found that our brains contain distorted representations of the size and shape of our hands, with a tendency to think of them as shorter and fatter than they really are. The work could have implications for how the brain unconsciously perceives other parts of the body and may help explain the underpinnings of certain eating disorders in which body image becomes distorted. Neuroscientists at University College London asked more than 100 volunteers to place their left hand palm-down on a table. The researchers covered the volunteers' hands with a board and then asked them to indicate where they thought landmarks such as fingertips lay underneath. This data was used to reconstruct the "brain's image" of the hand. The results, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed a consistent overestimation of the width of the hand. Many of the volunteers estimated their hand was about 80% broader than it really was. "It's a dramatic and highly consistent bias," said Matthew Longo of UCL's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, who led the work. "It was the same with estimation of finger lengths. When you get to the ring finger, with the largest bias, it's 30%-40% underestimation." The brain uses several ways to work out the location of different parts of the body. This includes feedback from muscles and joints and also some sort of internal model of the size and shape of each part. Behavioral Health Central © Copyright 2010,

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 8: General Principles of Sensory Processing, Touch, and Pain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 14187 - Posted: 06.24.2010

A biological factor may play an essential part in the development of eating disorders in girls during puberty, a new study finds. The research, led by Michigan State University (MSU) scientists, finds that the genes of girls who have higher levels of estradiol at puberty can act as a catalyst for the development of eating disorders. Estradiol is the primary form of estrogen in women's bodies. It plays a key role in the development of secondary sex characteristics and bone development. "The reason we see an increase in genetic influences during puberty is that the genes for disordered eating are essentially getting switched on during that time," said Kelly Klump, MSU associate professor of psychology, in a release. "What we found is that increases in estradiol apparently are activating genetic risk for eating disorders." The genes responsible for activating eating disorders have yet to be identified. The researchers also believe that environmental factors and a genetic link (having a family history of eating disorders) play a part in the development of the condition. The researchers measured the amount of estradiol in the bloodstreams of 200 sets of twin girls between the ages of 10 and 15. The study is published in the journal Psychological Medicine. © CBC 2010

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 5: Hormones and the Brain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 14149 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Rachael Rettner Anorexia and bulimia are probably the most familiar types of eating disorders, but they are not the most common. Some 50 to 60 percent of patients don't quite make the cut to be diagnosed with full-blown anorexia or bulimia, and are instead classified as having an eating disorder "not otherwise specified" (EDNOS). But this group is so vast, and the cases within it so diverse, that many in the field believe it creates more problems than it does solutions in terms of treating patients and understanding the syndromes. Patients lumped into this unspecified group can also have misperceptions about their condition, thinking it is not as serious as anorexia or bulimia. But in fact, recent studies have found that there really isn't a medical difference between the three recognized types of eating disorders. Now, physicians and psychiatrists are taking action to remedy the situation. They are proposing revisions to the psychiatric "bible," the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, for the newest version (DSM-5) to be published in 2013. The suggested changes include relaxing the strict criteria for anorexia and bulimia somewhat, and giving other conditions, such as binge eating, their own official labels. These more specific labels could be a boon to treatment and the mental health of the patient, who will finally know what he or she "has." In addition, experience has shown that when a disorder gets a name, more research and attention is paid to it. Even so, some experts aren't sold, saying these DSM changes won't make any real difference as far as treatment goes. © 2010 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: 14099 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Emily Sohn To be an American woman and feel good about your body requires a powerful inner strength and the will to resist an unrealistically skinny social ideal. But even women who truly accept themselves as they are have internalized the desire to be thin, suggests a new study that looked deep into women's brains. The study found that the brains of healthy women resemble those of bulimic women when confronted with the idea that they might be overweight. The findings might eventually help doctors better evaluate and treat body image issues, no matter how subtle. "This is kind of validating the suspicion that most women are teetering on the edge of an eating disorder," said Mark Allen, a neuroscientist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. "If the brain response is so strong in these apparently healthy women, maybe most of us could use a little dose of what it is that you go through in an eating disorder therapy." Who are you? What makes you unique? What fulfills you? Are you friendly, cheerful, grumpy or important? When people consider questions like these that force them to engage in serious self-reflection, activity picks up in a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex. Scientists have suspected that this self-reflective part of the brain could betray subconscious thoughts that people might not even know they have. For example, other studies have shown that, in tasks like word-associations, people who don't think they're racist still show racist tendencies when they don't have time to consciously override what's under the surface. © 2010 Discovery Communications, LLC.

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: 13978 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Melissa Healy >>> Rina Silverman's refrigerator is almost always empty. She keeps it that way to avert episodes of frantic food consumption, often at night after a full meal, in which she tastes nothing and feels nothing but can polish off a party-sized bag of chips or a container of ice cream, maybe a whole box of cereal. The food she's eating at these moments hardly matters. In short order, the nothing that Silverman feels and tastes will give way to nauseating fullness, and a bitter backwash of guilt, shame and self-reproach. The fullness, in time, passes. But the corrosive shame and self-reproach are always there. Silverman, a 43-year-old executive assistant from Sherman Oaks, is one of the 145 million Americans who are overweight or obese. But the frenzies of consumption put her in a far smaller category of Americans, not all of whom are even overweight. Silverman is a binge eater, one who is slowly inching her way toward recovery. She and as many as 1 in 30 Americans -- roughly 7.3 million adults -- are at the center of a psychiatric debate over whether and how to recognize binge eating as a mental disorder. A decision on the matter is expected early next year, as the American Psychiatric Assn. updates the diagnostic manual that guides the mental health profession. In light of new research and a seemingly growing population of patients who fit the broad description of binge eaters, psychiatrists must decide whether "binge eating disorder" should stand alongside anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa as a separate psychiatric condition -- identifiable by a distinct set of symptoms, a recognizable pattern of progression and a track record of response to certain treatments. © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

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: 13524 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Caitlin Gibson Leah's voice was calm on the phone. I'm on my way home, she said. Sarah died this morning. In the steady tone my best friend would use to say she had a flat tire or was late for class, Leah explained that she was about to board a flight to join her family as they prepared for her little sister's funeral. Leah had known on some level that this might happen. She'd read the books, done the research and understood that girls with eating disorders got better, or they didn't. She saw Sarah as what she was: the everygirl of her illness, not immune because she was smart and beautiful, popular and athletic. But the knowledge that it might happen did nothing to prepare Leah. Her false serenity lasted until the funeral, where she sat beside her parents in the synagogue and greeted a seemingly endless line of mourners. I took my place behind her, next to her aunt. Person after person shuffled forward to offer tearful embraces, and Leah's cocoon suddenly collapsed. The piercing cry that tore from her throat silenced the room. Leah's aunt and I lunged forward in the instinctive way that one body answers another: our palms pressed against her back, fingers wrapped around her shoulders. Leah's scream subsided into a whimper, then quiet. The day shuddered on. A growing consensus suggests that for young people with eating disorders, the sooner the problem is identified and aggressively treated, the better the chance of recovery. © 2009 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: 12824 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By John Cloud Tuesday, Being a teenager means experimenting with foolish things like dyeing your hair purple or candy flipping or going door-to-door for a political party. Parents tend to overlook seemingly mild, earnest teen pursuits like joining the Sierra Club, but a new study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggests that another common teen fad, vegetarianism, isn't always healthy. Instead, it seems that a significant number of kids experiment with a vegetarian diet as a way to mask an eating disorder, since it's a socially acceptable way to avoid eating many foods and one that parents tend not to oppose. The study, led by nutritionist Ramona Robinson-O'Brien, an assistant professor at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Minnesota, found that while adolescent and young adult vegetarians were less likely than meat eaters to be overweight and more likely to eat a relatively healthful diet, they were also more likely to binge eat. Although most teens in Robinson-O'Brien's study claimed to embark on vegetarianism to be healthier or to save the environment and the world's animals, the research suggests they may be more interested in losing weight than protecting cattle or swine. (See pictures of a diverse group of American teens.) For one thing, many young "vegetarians" continue to eat the white meat of defenseless chickens (25% in the current study) as well as the flesh of those adorable animals known as fish (46%), even when they are butchered and served up raw as sushi. And in a 2001 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, researchers found that the most common reason teens gave for vegetarianism was to lose weight or keep from gaining it. Adolescent vegetarians are far more likely than other teens to diet or to use extreme and unhealthy measures to control their weight, studies suggest. The reverse is also true: teens with eating disorders are more likely to practice vegetarianism than any other age group. © 2009 Time Inc.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior
Link ID: 12774 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Carrie Arnold The Griecos had learned of Christina's illness just months earlier, although she had been struggling with the eating disorder for three years. They found outpatient therapy for her right away, but it didn't stop her from slashing her calories to starvation levels. Feeling helpless and guilty, as if they were somehow to blame, the Griecos, who live in Chantilly, arranged for Christina to spend two months in an eating disorders clinic in Arizona, at a cost of more than $100,000. ad_icon In their haste, they forgot about a note that one therapist had scribbled on a scrap of paper: "Maudsley approach," it read. "Very effective for adolescents." Looking back, the Griecos wish they had focused on it sooner. Unlike traditional eating disorder treatment programs, which tend to equate parental involvement with parental interference, the Maudsley approach treats the family as an integral part of the healing process. Named for the London hospital where it was developed in the 1980s, the Maudsley approach views food as medicine and parents as the optimal people to help their child return to health. Unlike traditional psychotherapy, this family-based treatment views the ill teenager as unable to start eating, rather than as choosing not to eat. © 2009 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: 12586 - Posted: 06.24.2010

Anorexic from a young age, 31-year old Erin Kennedy still struggles to convince herself that her own body image is often distorted. "When I hear I'm healthy, to me that means I'm fat," she says. "But, you know, healthy is good. I have to remember healthy is good." Such self-monitoring is an essential part of Kennedy's challenging recovery process, but she says, "It's not always easy, and it's not something I always do." Kennedy has not been hospitalized for more than four years, the longest stretch of time she's been on her own since her first hospitalization in high school. In the hospital, Kennedy had to report to the nurse's station six times daily to drink Ensure. "People passing by wanted one, and I used to try to sneak it to them," she remembers. Even now, despite years of treatment, Kennedy says that anxiety about weight remains "a constant" in her life. Recovery from anorexia often takes years, and new brain scan research shows that even fully recovered anorexics are distinct from the general population in the way their brains process reward. According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, women who never had anorexia showed highs and lows in brain activity that corresponded with winning or losing. But former anorexics showed no difference in their brains' reward centers. "People with anorexia had a hard time distinguishing win or loss," says Walter Kaye, a psychiatrist and coauthor of the new study. © ScienCentral, 2000-2008.

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: 11350 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By Constance Holden People with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) hate the way they look. Even though they are as normal in appearance as anyone else, they are obsessed with features such as their skin, their noses, and their hair, which--to them--never look right. Now, the first brain-imaging study of BDD patients shows that the condition is not an emotional problem. Rather, their brains are presenting them with skewed images of themselves. Psychiatrist James Feusner and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked BDD subjects and controls to scrutinize images of faces while their brains were being scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Each face was presented in three versions: One was an unaltered photograph; one included only low-spatial-frequency information, resulting in a blurred image that yielded just a general impression of the face; and the third contained only high-frequency information, which exaggerated the lines of the face (see picture). Previous research has shown that different neural pathways process high- and low-frequency information. When the image is blurry, the normal brain analyzes the face as a whole, whereas with high-frequency data, it zeroes in on details. The scientists found that the control subjects used a more holistic, right-brain strategy for the unaltered face and the low-frequency one. They only moved to the high-detail strategy for the high-detail face. In the BDD group, however, subjects failed to look at the figure as a whole, instead using left-brain channels that dwell on details for all three faces. © 2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 11036 - Posted: 06.24.2010

By AMY LORENTZEN DES MOINES, Iowa -- An Iowa researcher is studying a little-known eating disorder that some doctors may miss: purging disorder. Though similar to women with bulimia, patients who fit this description don't binge-eat. Yet they feel compelled to purge, usually by vomiting, even after eating only a small or normal amount of food, said Pamela Keel, the University of Iowa researcher who led a study on the subject. Keel, a psychology professor, and colleagues from Iowa and the Harvard Medical School describe their research in this month's issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. "Purging disorder is new in the sense that it has not been officially recognized as a unique condition in the classification of eating disorders. But it's not a new problem," Keel said. "Women were struggling with purging disorder long before we began studying it." If further study supports that it is a distinct disorder, Keel said the American Psychiatric Association could revise its criteria for diagnosing eating disorders. That's important because doctors could then better screen these patients and identify treatments for them. Otherwise, they might be missed because they are normal weight and don't report binge-eating, she said. © 2007 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: 10760 - Posted: 06.24.2010