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Sense of taste different in women with anorexia nervosa
Date:9/25/2007

Although anorexia nervosa is categorized as an eating disorder, it is not known whether there are alterations of the portions of the brain that regulate appetite. Now, a new study finds that women with anorexia have distinct differences in the insulta the specific part of the brain that is important for recognizing taste according to a new study by University of Pittsburgh and University of California, San Diego researchers currently on line in advance of publication in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

The study also implies that there may be differences in the processing of information related to self-awareness in recovering anorexics compared to those without the illness findings that may lead to a better understanding of the cause of this serious and sometimes fatal mental disorder.

In the study led by Angela Wagner, M.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Walter H. Kaye, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Schools of Medicine, the brain activity of 32 women was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI.) The research team looked at images of the brains of 16 women who had recovered from anorexia nervosa some of whom had been treated at the Center for Overcoming Problem Eating at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and 16 control subjects. They measured their brains reactions to pleasant taste (sucrose) and neutral taste (distilled water.) The results of the fMRI study are the first evidence that individuals with anorexia process taste in a different way than those without the eating disorder.

In response to both the sucrose and water, imaging results showed that women who had recovered from anorexia had significantly reduced response in the insula and related brain regions when compared to the control group. These areas of the brain recognize taste and judge how rewarding that taste
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Contact: Debra Kain
ddkain@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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