Thursday, June 14, 2012

Migraine May Be Risk Factor for Eating Disorders

Are young women who have migraine more likely to develop an eating disorder (ED)? Researchers from the Biochemistry Laboratory for the Study of Primary Headaches and Neurological Degenerative Diseases, Research, and Innovation in Padova, Italy, have presented strong evidence that they are in the May Neurological Science. To understand the possible relationship between migraine and eating disorders, they investigated the prevalence of migraine and other primary headaches in a large group of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa patients. They also investigated the role of tyrosine metabolism in the same group, measuring their plasma levels of the elusive amines tyramine and octopamine, and the catecholamines noradrenalin and dopamine.

"The very high prevalence of migraine in our group of ED sufferers and the biochemical profile of migraine, similar to that of ED patients shown in this study, suggest that migraine may constitute a risk factor for the occurrence of ED in young females," said the researchers. "This hypothesis is supported by the onset of migraine attacks that initiated, in the majority of the patients, before the occurrence of ED symptoms."

More information about the complicating conditions and comorbid states that often accompany eating disorders appears in the book Special Problems in Managing Eating Disorders, by American Psychiatric Publishing.

(Image: Yuri Arcurs/


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