J. Thomas Howe
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
The aim of this thesis is to bring AN to the foreground of conversation both in a scientific and sociological framework. Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, which is characterized by the feeling of a loss of control. In some cases, another disorder called anorexia nervosa (AN) can codevelop. AN is characterized by a refusal, and inability, to maintain a healthy body weight. Some suffering from anxiety may restrict caloric intake and increase exercise to cope with stress. This results in extreme caloric deprivation. AN can be modeled in rats using an activity-based anorexia (ABA) method. In this study, we sorted 32 adolescent female rats into four main groups. One group had no running wheel and full food access (sedentary), one had a running wheel and full food access (exercise), one had no running wheel but restricted food access (chronic food restricted), and one had a running wheel and restricted food access (ABA). Over a period of two-weeks, the ABA rats reached the anorexic phenotype. From there, we will investigate the possible neural mechanisms behind anorexia by looking at two specific populations of neurons in the brainstem: glucagon-like peptide 1 and prolactin-releasing peptide. There is evidence that societal factors can trigger AN to form such as social media; however, the exact causes of AN are not well understood which makes its treatment very difficult within humans. By better understanding possible neural mechanisms that contribute to AN, we can more holistically treat patients suffering with it.
Date of Award
Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)
© Madelyn Uyemura
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Uyemura, Madelyn, "Physiological effects of activity-based anorexia in female rats and an overview of eating disorders" (2022). Regis University Student Publications. 1025.