Bigger brain in teens indicates eating disorder, anorexia nervosa

A recent study has suggested that teenagers with bigger brains are at a risk of suffering from anorexia nervosa.

As stated by a study and the researchers at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine, teen girls suffering from anorexia nervosa were noted to be having a larger insula, (a part of the brain) very active while tasting food, not just insula but also a larger orbitofrontal cortex – a part of the brain that indicates a person when he should stop eating.

Bigger brain might be one of the reason people with anorexia are able to starve themselves easily as stated by Guido Frank, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at CU School of Medicine, and his colleagues.

Frank also added that as eating disorders are mostly urged by the environment, there are most likely biological mechanisms that need to come together for an individual to develop an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa.

The study checked around 19 adolescent girls with anorexia nervosaand a figure of 22 in a control group and the researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to test brain volumes.

People having anorexia nervosa showed their results with greater right insular, left orbitofrontal, and bilateral temporal cortex gray matter compared to the control group.

In sufferers of anorexia nervosa, orbitofrontal gray matter volume is related in a negative way with sweet tastes. Another comparison of this new study, tests group with adults with anorexia nervosa and a healthy control group, showed greater orbitofrontal cortex and insula volumes in the disorder among this age group as well.

This study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.