Study: Cannabinoids Attenuate Hyperactivity and Weight Loss in Anorexia

According to a new study, cannabinoids can attenuate (reduce the effects of) hyperactivity and body weight loss in activity-based anorexia.

The study, published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, was epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric condition characterized by excessive body weight loss and disturbed perceptions of body shape and size, often associated with excessive physical activity”, states the study’s abstract. “There is currently no effective drug-related therapy of this disease and this leads to high relapse rate. Clinical data suggest that a promising therapy to treat and reduce reoccurrence of AN may be based on the use of drugs that target the endocannabinoid (EC) system [such as cannabinoids], which appears dysregulated in AN patients.”

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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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