A new study done on anorexia showed that women who have had a certain type of this disorder show a change in the activity of a chemical in their brain that is associated with anxiety and other affective disorders.
In anorexia nervosa a sufferer is obsessive in their pursuit of thinness and fear of being fat. There are no proven treatments for anorexia, and the illness has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder. The new findings may encourage a better understanding of anorexia and new drug and psychological treatments.
Previous research showed that changes in the brain chemical serotonin may contribute to the appetite alteration in anorexia nervosa. Scientists compared the activity of serotonin in women who had recovered from anorexia nervosa and a control group of healthy women using positron emission tomography (PET). The team concluded that women with anorexia have a disturbance of serotonin neuronal systems that may cause anxiety.