Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain’s opioid receptors—or endorphin system—may hold key to treatment possibilities for bulimia

11.08.2005


First Imaging Study to Implicate Brain Opioids Could Explain Addictive Nature of Behavioral Disorder, Say Johns Hopkins Researchers

The role of the brain’s opioid receptor system—or endorphin system—may hold the key to understanding and treating bulimia nervosa, according to research reported in the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s August issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

"Involvement of the opioid system may explain the addictive quality of this behavioral disorder," said Angela Guarda, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. The first imaging study to implicate the opioid system in bulimia nervosa shows differences in women with bulimia compared to healthy women, added J. James Frost, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and co-author of "Regional ì-Opioid Receptor Binding in Insular Cortex Is Decreased in Bulimia Nervosa and Correlates Inversely With Fasting Behavior." In the study, eight women with bulimia were compared to healthy women of the same age and weight. Their brains were scanned using positron emission tomography (PET) after injection with the short-acting radioactive compound carfentanil, which binds to mu-opioid receptors in the brain, explained Frost. PET is a powerful medical imaging procedure that noninvasively uses special imaging systems and radioactive tracers to produce pictures of the function and metabolism of the cells in the body. He noted, "We found that mu-opioid receptor binding in bulimic women was lower than in healthy women in the left insular cortex. The insula is involved in processing taste, as well as the anticipation and reward of eating, and has been implicated in studies of other driven behavioral disorders, including drug addiction and gambling.”



Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder marked by a destructive pattern of recurrent dieting, binging and vomiting to control one’s weight. "Patients feel trapped by this behavioral cycle suggesting something about it is rewarding,” said Guarda, “and, as with substance abuse, the course of bulimia is frequently chronic and relapsing."

Bulimia nervosa, which is 10 times more common in females than in males, affects 1–2 percent of adolescent girls and young women in the United States. Bulimia may become chronic and lead to serious health problems, including seizures, irregular heartbeat, dental erosion, swollen salivary glands, gastrointestinal irritation and electrolyte imbalances. In rare cases, it may be fatal. While the cause of bulimia nervosa is still unknown, research shows that certain brain chemicals may function abnormally in bulimia patients. This research may point to a molecular target for development of more effective treatments than those currently available. Frost indicated that medications that affect the brain’s opioid receptor system and approaches to treatment for substance abuse disorders may be helpful in treating bulimia.

Frost and Guarda co-authored "Regional ì-Opioid Receptor Binding in Insular Cortex Is Decreased in Bulimia Nervosa and Correlates Inversely With Fasting Behavior" with Badreddine Bencherif, M.D., Hayden T. Ravert, Ph.D., and Robert F. Dannals, Ph.D., department of radiology, and Carlo Colantuoni, Ph.D., department of neuroscience, all at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

Maryann Verrillo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.snm.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>