Anorexia caused by derailed brain circuitry


So interesting advances are being made. The science is catching up…

Researchers at St George’s medical school may have proved anorexia nervosa could be caused by a brain dysfunction rather than by social pressures.

This radical theory was devised by Professor Bryan Lask, who has been researching the condition for 15 years.

He found sufferers appear to have an abnormality in the blood flow to the part of the brain called the insula, which affects body image.

Prof Lask said: “We think we are closer to understanding the role of the brain in the origin of development.”

Prof Lask and his team made their discoveries by examining activities within the brain.

They also carried out neuro-psychological testing and looked at the relationship between each of those factors.

He said: “This has led us to believe that there is a dysfunction in certain circuits within the brain, which leads to all the phenomena that are associated with anorexia.”

Professor Lask likens the brain to a rail network. He says the brain is essentially like a lot of different cities, which have a railway system linking them.

If one station is not working the railway system as a whole cannot operate properly.

In anorexics, his findings suggest a dysfunction in the insula, meaning the brain cannot function properly as a whole.