Dopamine Receptor Contributions to Prediction Error and Reversal Learning in Anorexia Nervosa

2019-10-21 12:45:24 | BioPortfolio


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder associated with intense fear of weight gain, food refusal, and severe weight loss. AN has the highest mortality rate among the psychiatric disorders; however, little is known about biomarkers, and no medication has been approved for AN. Many individuals only partially recover, and treatment options, especially for the psychological components of the illness, are not very effective, highlighting the need for more effective treatments.

Brain reward pathways have a direct impact on the drive to eat, and a variety of neuroimaging studies have suggested altered reward processing in AN. The neurotransmitter dopamine has a central role in the reward circuitry to drive food approach, and the dynamic interplay between dopamine receptor response and food restriction could have implications for the pathophysiology of AN. Dopamine-related brain function has been studied indirectly using functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI) and tasks that deliver reward stimuli unexpectedly, that elicit the so-called prediction error (PE) response.

Research in AN showed repeatedly altered PE processing suggesting altered dopamine circuit function in the disorder.

Dopamine and PE response have also been associated with altered reversal learning, which has important treatment implication for AN as reversal learning is impaired in the disorder and modulation of the dopamine system could improve treatment.

Study Design


Anorexia Nervosa


amisulpride, bromocriptine


Not yet recruiting


University of California, San Diego

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-21T12:45:24-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The lack or loss of APPETITE accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder ANOREXIA NERVOSA.

An eating disorder that is characterized by the lack or loss of APPETITE, known as ANOREXIA. Other features include excess fear of becoming OVERWEIGHT; BODY IMAGE disturbance; significant WEIGHT LOSS; refusal to maintain minimal normal weight; and AMENORRHEA. This disorder occurs most frequently in adolescent females. (APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 1994)

A disorder associated with three or more of the following: eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry; eating much more rapidly than normal; eating alone due to embarrassment; feeling of disgust, DEPRESSION, or guilt after overeating. Criteria includes occurrence on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months. The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behavior (i.e. purging, excessive exercise, etc.) and does not co-occur exclusively with BULIMIA NERVOSA or ANOREXIA NERVOSA. (From DSM-IV, 1994)

A semisynthetic ergotamine alkaloid that is a dopamine D2 agonist. It suppresses prolactin secretion.

A dopamine agonist and serotonin antagonist. It has been used similarly to BROMOCRIPTINE as a dopamine agonist and also for MIGRAINE DISORDERS therapy.

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