Early signs of anorexia are seen in brain for first time

by Annalisa Lista - 2017.07.04
Early signs of anorexia are seen in brain for first time
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For the first time signs of anorexia have been seen in the brain. The discovery, published in Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging, was credited to an Italian research group at the Università Campus Bio-Medico, in Rome, Italy, who also collaborated with a non-profit, La Cura del Girasole. The team used a new MRI technique that allowed them to observe the white matter in the brains of 14 adolescents who had had the illness for less than 6 months. Images were then compared to those of the brains of 15 healthy peers. In this way, the team was able to discover alterations in the white matter in early-stages of anorexia. This part of the brain is responsible for the communication between brain areas involved in cognitive functioning and perceptions of body image. Which explains why young girls with this illness think obsessively about the food they eat and about their physical appearance, which for them, is distorted. This study confirms earlier research on the causes of anorexia which indicated some association with cerebral dysfunction. This study “offers a new contribution to the understanding of the causes of the anorexia nervosa and paves the way to the possible discovery of new therapeutic strategies that will focus on early warning signs, and on the flexibility of thought patterns and on the alteration of perceptions of one’s body”, declared the leader of the study, Prof. Santino Gaudio.

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