|A laboratory assistant holds one hemisphere of a healthy brain in the Morphological unit of psychopathology in the Neuropsychiatry division of the Belle Idee University Hospital in Chene-Bourg near Geneva March 14, 2011. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) |
Brains of people who suffer from anorexia and obesity respond differently to food, say neuroscientists.
Researchers at the University of Kansas found that brain responses to food change depending on eating behaviours - from overeating to food deprivation.
Lead researcher Laura Holsen and her team conducted brain scans of healthy control subjects and of people with anorexia nervosa, obesity and Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that can cause extreme obesity.
When hungry, the people with anorexia showed substantially decreased responses in the areas of their brains associated with reward and pleasure when they were shown various pictures of food. The chronic overeaters had significantly increased responses in the same brain regions when shown pictures of food.
The research is being presented Tuesday at the 19th annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
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