New insights into symptoms and neurocircuit function of anorexia nervosa.

Nat Rev Neurosci 2009 Aug 15;10(8):573-84. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Eating Disorder Treatment & Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla Village Professional Center, 8950 Villa La Jolla Drive, Suite C-207, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa have a relentless preoccupation with dieting and weight loss that results in severe emaciation and sometimes death. It is controversial whether such symptoms are secondary to psychosocial influences, are a consequence of obsessions and anxiety or reflect a primary disturbance of brain appetitive circuits. New brain imaging technology provides insights into ventral and dorsal neural circuit dysfunction - perhaps related to altered serotonin and dopamine metabolism - that contributes to the puzzling symptoms found in people with eating disorders. For example, altered insula activity could explain interoceptive dysfunction, and altered striatal activity might shed light on altered reward modulation in people with anorexia nervosa.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrn2682DOI Listing
August 2009
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