The Connection of Eating Disorders on the Brain in Sparks Nevada
Did you know that the food you ingest may respond differently to your brain if you suffer from an eating disorder, suggested by a new study? Learn about the food connection and how the brain responds to an individual suffering from an eating disorder in Sparks Nevada.
According to an article at medicalnewstoday.com, “How the Brain Reacts to Eating Disorders”
“The brains of people with anorexia and obesity are wired differently, according to new research. Neuroscientists for the first time have found that how our brains respond to food differs across a spectrum of eating behaviors – from extreme overeating to food deprivation. This study is one of several new approaches to help better understand and ultimately treat eating disorders and obesity.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. And more than two-thirds of the U.S. population are overweight or obese – a health factor associated with cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and cancer. “This body of work not only increases our understanding of the relationship between food and brain function but can also inform weight loss programs,” says Laura Martin of Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, one of several researchers whose work presented at a meeting of cognitive neuroscientists in Chicago.
“One of the most intriguing aspects of these studies of the brain on food,” Martin says, is that they show “consistent activations of reward areas of the brain that are also implicated in studies of addiction.” However, how those reward areas respond to food differs between people depending on their eating behaviors, according to the new brain imaging study by Laura Holsen of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and colleagues.
Holsen’s team conducted fMRI brain scans of individuals with one of three eating conditions – anorexia nervosa, simple obesity, and Prader-Willi syndrome (extreme obesity) – as well as healthy control subjects. When hungry, those with anorexia, who severely restrict their food intake, showed substantially decreased responses to various pictures of food in regions of their brains associated with reward and pleasure. For those who chronically overeat, there were significantly increased responses in those same brain regions.
“Our findings provide evidence of an overall continuum relating food intake behavior and weight outcomes to food reward circuitry activity,” Holsen says. Her work also has implications, she says, for everyday eating decisions in healthy individuals. “Even in individuals who do not have eating disorders, there are areas of the brain that assist in evaluating the reward value of different foods, which in turn plays a role in the decisions we make about which foods to eat.”
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If you feel that you’re suffering from an eating disorder and you need help from an eating disorder specialist in Sparks Nevada, visit ABCNutritionServices.com and setup an appointment with Barbara Cox.