Anorexia Specific Drug: Low Doses of Atypical Antipsychotic Drug Showed Success In Study

There is currently no approved drug for anorexia nervosa, a common and occasionally fatal eating disorder. Research showed that low doses of a commonly used atypical antipsychotic drug improved the survival rate in a mouse model of anorexia. As many as one percent of American women have the disease and only one-third of those ever receive treatment.

Mice treated with a low dose of olanzapine were more likely to maintain their weight when given restricted diets and an exercise wheel – the environment that produces activity-based anorexia (ABA). The antidepressant fluoxetine, commonly prescribed off-label for anorexia did not improve survival.

“We found over and over again that olanzapine was effective in harsher conditions, less harsh conditions, adolescents, adults – it consistently worked,” said first author Stephanie Klenotich, a graduate student in the Committee on Neurobiology at the University of Chicago Biological Sciences.

“Anorexia nervosa is the most deadly psychiatric disorder, and yet no approved pharmacological treatments exist,” explained Stephanie Dulawa, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago Medicine and senior author. “One wonders why there isn’t more basic science work being done to better understand the mechanisms and to identify novel pharmacological treatments.”

The mice were treated with fluoxetine, olanzapine or saline and put through the ABA protocols. Treatment with olanzapine significantly increased survival and it did so without sedative side effects.

“We can dissect the effect of olanzapine and hopefully identify the mechanisms of action, and identify what receptor systems we want to target,” Klenotich said. “Hopefully we can develop a newer drug that we can aim towards the eating disorders clinic as an anorexic-specific drug that might be a little more acceptable to patients.”

Sources: ScienceDaily, Neuropsychopharmacology
Photo: Pixabay

More Articles

Maintaining a balanced diet not only keeps our body functioning at its best, it also keeps our skin, hair, and nails looking bright and healthy....

Researchers are closer to finding the genetic cause for binge eating and might be getting closer to an effective treatment. “Based upon our...

When a person begins recovery treatment for anorexia nervosa, they may need to initiate a process known as refeeding. The refeeding process is a...

When a baby is in utero, they develop fine white hairs all over their body. These are known as lanugo hairs and they protect the baby’s skin from...

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found more than 90 percent of patients with eating disorders not specifically defined (EDNOS) in...

More Articles

More Articles

Maintaining a balanced diet not only keeps our body functioning at its best, it also keeps our skin, hair, and nails looking bright and healthy....

Researchers are closer to finding the genetic cause for binge eating and might be getting closer to an effective treatment. “Based upon our...

When a person begins recovery treatment for anorexia nervosa, they may need to initiate a process known as refeeding. The refeeding process is a...

When a baby is in utero, they develop fine white hairs all over their body. These are known as lanugo hairs and they protect the baby’s skin from...

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found more than 90 percent of patients with eating disorders not specifically defined (EDNOS) in...

Eating disorders might be hard to talk about, or even to admit to yourself. If you know, or if you even suspect, you have an eating disorder,...

If you suspect your child has an eating disorder, you may feel overwhelmed. There are a few things you should know upfront.

First and...

Eating disorders don't discriminate. They don't care if you're rich or poor, they don't care about your color or gender, and they don't care if...

In the U.S., an estimated one in 200 people develop an eating disorder. That is a startling number, but another number is even more alarming: one...

A lot of what people know about eating disorders comes from "common knowledge." Unfortunately, common knowledge isn't always correct, or it may...

Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight. In many cases, people suffering from this...

Most people find holidays stressful, but the thought of facing holidays can be overwhelming for a person with an eating disorder. If a special day...

Blood disorders are a common occurrence in people with disrupted eating habits or nutrient deficiencies. As a result, people with eating disorders...

Hair loss, hair thinning, brittle fingernails, and flaky skin are all common side effects of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Even though...

One of the lesser-known potential consequences of an eating disorder is hypothyroidism, a condition caused by disrupted functioning of the thyroid...