Eating Disorders and the Brain

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Eating Disorders are the extreme attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in which an individual looks at food. The most common forms of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa, or anorexia for short, is where an individual will starve him or herself or eat very little. Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, is where an individual will binge eat and then purge it up so they do not feel guilty about eating so many calories in one sitting. Binge eating, is when an individual cannot control their urge to eat and can gain excessive amounts. An eating disorder does not only affect women, but men as well. However, it is more commonly seen in women with the percentage being 95 percent. A battle with any of these can be life threatening. For some, it is a life long battle. In a lot of situations, an individual will go through treatment and seemingly do not get better. See
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/information-resources/general-information.php - seeking-treatment
for more information regards to eating disorders.

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As research suggests, when you stimulate the ventromedial part of a rats' brain, the brain looses its appetite to eat. The ventromedial part is the lower middle brain. If you lesion the same area, the rat becomes large. The ventromedial part of a rat's brain plays an important part of eating and appetite. My question is, is that the same for humans? If so, wouldn't one solution to eating disorders be a procedure on the ventromedial part of the brain? For those suffering from anorexia or bulimia they could make a lesion where as those suffering cases of binge eating they could stimulate the area. Of course this isn't a cure but merely a possible solution.

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Unfortunately, the ventromedial hypothalamus and its role in eating is much more complicated than this. If you are interested in this, I highly recommend you take Biopsychology where this topic is covered more. Why do you think that the treatments are not effective?

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This page contains a single entry by pfei0169 published on November 6, 2011 7:30 PM.

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