Study: Cannabis Show Promise in Treatment of Anorexia

By Liam Davenport, Medscape.com (republished with special permission)

anorexia
(Photo: YouthVoices.net).

Impairments in the endocannabinoid system in the brain could play an important role in the development of anorexia nervosa, say Italian researchers, who report findings that point to novel cannabis-based therapeutic strategies for the eating disorder.

In a mouse model of anorexia, the team found not only that the density of cannabinoid receptors was significantly reduced in areas associated with appetite but also that administration of receptor agonists led to increases in body weight and a reduction in interest in exercise.

Roberto Collu, a PhD student in the Division of Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Calgiari, Italy, told delegates here at the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress that “pharmacological therapies based on drugs that modulate endocannabinoid system signaling might be useful in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.”

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