According to recent revolutionary findings made by medical scientists, anorexia, an eating disorder that has long been thought to be caused by women’s inclination to look like skinny celebrity top models may in fact be developed prior the birth and therefore is explained by genetic factors and brain chemistry rather than just by a desire to quit eating and lose weight.
Dr. Ian Frampton, consultant in pediatric psychology at London’s Great Ormond Street hospital, and his co-researchers launched a series of testing that unveiled some changes in the structure of brains of 200 female patients from Britain, the U.S. and Norway, all of them suffering from anorexia, an eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining extra pounds.
Damage to neurotransmitters helping brain cells communicate was detected among 70% of the sufferers between 12 and 25 who received relevant care in private hospitals of Edinburgh and Maidenhead. Moreover similar malfunctions in neuro communications within the brain are diagnosed among dyslexic, depressive or hyperactive people.
Vulnerability to commonly-known risk factors for eating disorders is subsequent to such changes, typical to one woman in every few hundred. This can not be merely developed by only social factors, such as pressingge desire to lose weight to emulate “high-profile women in the media”, announced the scientists during a conference at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Dr. Frampton emphasized that the previous approach turns out to be fallacious as soon as almost everyone is exposed to social factors, but the percentage of young people who refuse eating and starve until they develop anorexia is rather insignificant.
The research contradicts traditional concepts of medical science about anorexia and may result in a revolutionary break-through for understanding the nature of anorexia and its treatment that has always been a challenge.
The development of medication to treat anorexia is not far off. According to Susan Ringwood, chief executive of Beat, the eating disorders charity, anti-depressant drugs to normalize workings of the human brain have been created in the similar way as the prospective remedy against the eating disorder. Alternatively, such procedures as natal or prenatal screening may be implemented by doctors to assess risk of being predisposed and increase chances for recovery.
Source of the image: D Sharon Pruitt.