Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Science and University Honors
eating disorder, anxiety disorder, comorbidity, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus
The presence of eating disorder and anxiety disorder comorbidity has raised the question of whether or not there is a causal relationship between them. Previous studies have found that this comorbidity has been present in various patients with anxiety disorders and eating disorders, going further to try and determine which diagnosis came first (Swinbourne et al., 2012). By conducting a literature review, studies were examined to determine neurobiological regions impacted by both disorders. Prefrontal cortex abnormalities are consistent among both disorders, contributing to differences in behavior and reward systems. With the irregular structure and activation of the amygdala, emotion and fear regulation are disrupted in those with either illness. Hypothalamic dysfunction in regulating feeding and reward response is found to be an additional commonality. Deficiencies of gray brain matter indicate deterioration of neural connections in those with either disorder.
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Coelho, Karsen, "Neural Correlates of Comorbidity of Anxiety Disorders and Eating Disorders" (2023). University Honors Theses. Paper 1334.