"Patients are almost uniformly very skeptical and very reluctant to take any medication that could lower their resolve to refrain from eating," Le Grange said. "There are long-standing resistances, and I think researchers and clinicians have been very reluctant to embark on that course, since it's just littered with obstacles."
Both fluoxetine and olanzapine have been tried clinically to supplement interventions such as family-based treatment and cognitive-behavioral therapy. But their direct effect on anorexia nervosa behavior in humans or animals is lacking in sufficient data.
To test the effectiveness of these drugs in laboratory mice, Klenotich adapted the ABA protocol from previously published rat studies: Mice given 24-hour access to a running wheel but only six hours a day of food access become hyperactive, eat less and rapidly lose weight, with a 25 percent reduction from baseline considered to be the "drop-out" survival point.
In Klenotich's study, mice were pretreated with fluoxetine, olanzapine or saline before starting the ABA protocol, and treatment continued throughout the ABA period. Researchers then measured how many mice in each group reached the drop-out point for weight loss over 14 days of food restriction and exercise wheel access. Treatment with the antipsychotic olanzapine significantly increased survival over the control group, while fluoxetine treatment produced no significant effects on survival.
Importantly, a low dose of olanzapine did not decrease overall running activity in the mice, indicating that sedative effects of the drug were minimal. In future experime
|Contact: Robert Mitchum|
University of Chicago Medical Center