ScienceDaily (2010-11-20) — Scientists have identified both common and rare gene variants associated with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. In the largest genetic study of this psychiatric disorder, the researchers found intriguing clues to genes they are subjecting to further investigation, including genes active in neuronal signaling and in shaping interconnections among brain cells.
I’m encouraged to see that there within the past 5 years or so especially so many large studies being conducted in the realm of neuroscience especially. It has been my experience that anorexia is often times spoken of as though it is not a “real disease” or should in no way be treated as a top priority. I only truly struggled with the disorder in a way that needed help for a year or so before I got some help. Other people who don’t get help on their own or with intervention so quickly never get “better.” The worst thing about the disorder is that you are never fully recovered. Once that box has been opened it can never be fully closed.
In regards to neuroscience and anorexia, our feelings of being satiated are of course located within the brain, and oddly enough they are located in the same area that stores religious feelings and experiences, which has led to a lot of research on my part in trying to tease out how much of my own experience, if any, was from the implicit understanding and pervasive messages that were part of my upbringing that since Christ went without food to get closer to God, that abstaining from food is somehow holy. This is also an area of research in which there are papers coming out daily, it seems, as church historians are taking another look at asceticism and when necessary calling it what it was — anorexia. Food for thought (no pun intended).