The monkey on your back does not carry donuts

The pieces are coming together. Rapid advances in neuroimaging, DNA analysis, and other research are finally finding better hypotheses for the cause and maintenance of eating disorders than the tired old "she's so vain" and "I told you not to make her finish her plate!"

Two friends alerted me to this interesting research: Anorexia shares addictive pathway with ecstasy

And if you have not read about this, you'll enjoy it: "Sense of Taste Different in Women with Anorexia Nervosa: Imaging Study Finds Brain Changes Associated with the Regulation of Appetite."

Walter Kaye, the head of UCSD's ED program, says people with anorexia may "have difficulty recognizing taste, or responding to the pleasure associated with food. Because this region of the brain also contributes to emotional regulation, it may be that food is aversive, rather than rewarding. "

"This lack of interoceptive awareness may contribute to other symptoms of anorexia nervosa such as distorted body image, lack of recognition of the symptoms of malnutrition and diminished motivation to change"

If you come to the NEDA conference this Friday you can ask Dr. Kaye about this - I plan to!


  1. Though I'm sure Walt's monkey will indeed carry donuts. I have faith in the man. :)



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