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Brain Defect May Lead to Anorexia

New research suggests that one in every hundred women have damaged neural wiring that increases vulnerability to anorexia. Thousands of girls are predisposed to develop anorexia because of the way their brains developed in the womb, a major study revealed.

The report’s authors say schoolchildren could be screened at the age of 8 to identify the signs that make them more vulnerable to risk factors such as the size zero fad and the cult of the super-thin celebrity. Imperfect wiring in the brain’s insular cortex that may lead to dyslexia, ADHD or depression in other children produces what he calls “an underlying vulnerability” among some young people that makes them more likely to develop anorexia nervosa in later life.

Previously, scientists believed that being chronically underweight caused changes in a person’s brain. This new research is significant because it suggests that the opposite process explains the origins of anorexia. “These findings could help us to understand this beguiling disease that we don’t know how to treat,” added Frampton.