First Advisor

Jamey Maniscalco


J. Thomas Howe


Regis College

Degree Name


Department (optional)


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

48 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

Spring 2022

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.