Study Finds Link Between Genetic Variant, Opioid Addiction and Binge Eating

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Camron D. Bryant Ph.D Laboratory of Addiction Genetics, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Department of Psychiatry Boston University, Boston, MA

Dr. Bryant

Camron D. Bryant Ph.D
Laboratory of Addiction Genetics, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Department of Psychiatry
Boston University, Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We previously used genome-wide linkage analysis, fine mapping, gene validation, and pharmacological targeting to identify a negative regulatory role for the gene casein kinase 1-epsilon (Csnk1e) in behavioral sensitivity to drugs of abuse, including psychostimulants and opioids.

Parallel human candidate genetic association studies identified an association between multiple genetic variants in CSNK1E with heroin addiction in multiple populations. Drug addiction is a multi-stage process that begins with the initial acute subjective and physiological responses that can progress to chronic administration, tolerance, and withdrawal. The recovery process begins with abstinence from drug taking but can quickly be derailed by relapse to drug taking behavior. Preclinical pharmacological studies also support a role for CSNK1E in reinstatement of opioid self-administration and relapse to alcohol drinking.

Despite the evidence that disruption of Csnk1e gene and protein function can affect various behaviors associated with drug and alcohol addiction, it is unclear what stage of the addiction process these genetic and pharmacological manipulations modulate. In this study, we show that disruption of the Csnk1e gene resulted in an enhancement of the rewarding properties of the highly potent and addictive opioid, fentanyl.  Unexpectedly, we also discovered that disruption of Csnk1e also enhanced binge eating – but only in female mice.

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Genetic Links Indicate Anorexia Has Both Psychiatric and Metabolic Roots

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Cynthia Bulik, PhD

Cynthia Bulik, PhD

Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED
Founding director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders and
Professor at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Researchers and clinicians from around the world came together to create the most powerful genome-wide association study of anorexia nervosa to date. Via this global collaboration, we were able to identify the first significant locus that influences risk for anorexia nervosa. We have known that anorexia is heritable for over a decade, but now we are actually identifying which genes are implicated. This is the first one identified!

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Transcranial Stimulation Reduced Bulimia Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Maria Kekic PhD

Dr. Maria Kekic

Dr Maria Kekic PhD
Research Worker | The TIARA study:
Transcranial magnetic stimulation and imaging in anorexia nervosa
Section of Eating Disorders | Department of Psychological Medicine
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience | King’s College London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by repeated episodes of binge-eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviours. It is associated with multiple medical complications and with an increased risk of mortality. Although existing treatments for bulimia are effective for many patients, a sizeable proportion remain symptomatic following therapy and some do not respond at all.

Evidence shows that bulimia is underpinned by functional alterations in certain brain pathways, including those that underlie self-control processes. Neuroscience-based techniques with the ability to normalise these pathways may therefore hold promise as treatments for the disorder.

One such technique is called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) – a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that delivers weak electrical currents to the brain through two electrodes placed on the head. It is safe and painless, and the most common side effect is a slight itching or tingling on the scalp.

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Vyvanse Approved For Moderate To Severe Binge Eating Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Susan L. McElroy, M.D.</strong> Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Chief Research Officer Lindner Center of HOPE University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Dr. Susan L. McElroy

Dr. Susan L. McElroy, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Chief Research Officer
Lindner Center of HOPE
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: SPD489-346, designed as a multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-optimized, randomized-withdrawal study, is the first-ever longer-term pharmacologic study (38 weeks) to evaluate the maintenance of efficacy between Vyvanse and placebo in adults with moderate to severe binge eating disorder (B.E.D.).

Study SPD489-346 evaluated the longer-term maintenance of efficacy (38 weeks) between Vyvanse and placebo based on the primary endpoint of time to relapse during the randomized-withdrawal phase in adults aged 18 to 55 (N=267) with moderate to severe B.E.D. based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition – Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR®) criteria. In the study, relapse was defined as having two or more binge days per week for two consecutive weeks prior to any visit and an increase in Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) score of two or more points relative to the randomized-withdrawal baseline visit

Results from SPD489-346 indicated that Vyvanse (n=136) demonstrated significant maintenance of efficacy compared to placebo (n=131) based upon the primary endpoint of time to relapse. At the conclusion of the study, maintenance of efficacy for patients who had an initial response during the open-label phase, and then continued on Vyvanse during the randomized-withdrawal phase, was demonstrated with Vyvanse being superior over placebo as measured by time to relapse.

Safety and tolerability evaluations of Vyvanse included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and vital signs. The safety profile for Vyvanse in this study was generally consistent with the known profile reported in previous studies in adult patients with moderate to severe B.E.D.

Vyvanse is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe B.E.D. in adults. Vyvanse is not for weight loss. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity.

Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or sharing Vyvanse may harm others and is illegal.

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Dasotraline Explored For Treatment of ADHD and Binge Eating Disorders

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Kenneth Koblan PhD Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Fort Lee, NJ and Marlborough, MA

Dr. Kenneth Koblan

Dr. Kenneth Koblan PhD
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Fort Lee, NJ and Marlborough, MA

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Koblan: Assessing abuse potential is important in the clinical development process for any therapy affecting the central nervous system, especially those that may act on dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitter systems. Human abuse liability studies are conducted to evaluate the abuse potential associated with drugs that affect the central nervous system.

Drugs that increase dopamine levels may be associated with stimulant effects and abuse (e.g., cocaine and amphetamine), whereas drugs that increase serotonin and/or norepinephrine levels are not generally associated with recreational abuse (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Among drugs with effects on dopamine neurotransmission, slowing the rate of absorption is thought to reduce abuse potential, and increasing the rate of elimination is thought to reduce rewarding effects and abuse liability due to sustained elevations in drug concentrations resulting in sustained inhibition of dopamine transporters (DAT).

Dasotraline is an investigational dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor from Sunovion in late-stage development to evaluate its use in treating the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge-eating disorder (BED). Dasotraline has slow absorption and elimination that supports the potential for plasma concentrations yielding a continuous therapeutic effect over the 24-hour dosing interval at steady state.

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Negative Comments From Mothers Influence Asian Girls’ Body Image

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Samuel Chng
PhD Researcher in Psychology Applied to Health
University of Exeter Medical School
St Luke’s campus
Exeter, EX1 2LU, United Kingdom

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The study was conceptualised from the curious question from my childhood, “How did my parents influence my behaviours?” Together with my co-author, Dr. Daniel Fassnacht, we decided to explore how a specific form of parental influence, their comments, would influence the development of disordered eating symptoms. From studies conducted with Western samples that parental comments play a role in the development of eating disorder symptoms, and body dissatisfaction is one of the more studied mediator of this relationship. However, we could not find any study that investigated the influential nature of parent comments in Asia. So, we decided to focus our study on Asian parents and their children.

Singapore, a developed Asian country that continues to have strong familial roots, provided an ideal population for our study, and we would expect, the relationships we found indicated some potential differences in amongst Asian families.

We found that young women, compared to young men, in Singapore generally reported higher levels of parental comments (about their weight, body shape and eating habit), body dissatisfaction and disordered eating symptoms. However what we found for both young women and men was that negative comments from mothers (for example, ‘You need to lose weight’) was the only category of comments that predicted disordered eating and this was mediated by the presence of body dissatisfaction. Positive comments from parents, though suggested from past studies to be a protective factor, did not influence body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

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Drug Researched To Help Curb Binge Eating

Pietro Cottone, Ph.D. Associate Professor Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry Laboratory of Addictive Disorders Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA 02118MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Pietro Cottone, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry
Laboratory of Addictive Disorders
Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA 02118

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Cottone: Binge-eating disorder affects over ten million people in the USA and it is characterized by excessive consumption of junk food within brief periods of time, accompanied by loss of control, uncomfortable fullness and intense feelings of disgust and embarrassment. Increasing evidence suggests that binge-eating disorder can be regarded as an addiction behavior.

Memantine, a neuroprotective drug which blocks the glutamatergic system in the brain, is an Alzheimer’s disease medication, and it has been shown potential to treat a variety of addictive disorders.

We first developed a rodent model of binge eating by providing a sugary, chocolate diet only for one hour a day, while the control group was given the standard laboratory diet. Rats exposed to the sugary diet rapidly develop binge eating behavior, observed as a 4 fold increase in food intake compared to controls. Furthermore, binge eating rats are willing to work to a much greater extent to obtain just the cue associated with the sugary food (not the actual food), as compared to controls. In addition, binge eating subjects exhibit compulsive behavior by putting themselves in a potentially risky situation in order to get to the sugary food, while the control group obviously avoids that risk.

We then tested whether administering memantine could reduce binge eating of the sugary diet, the strength of cues associated with junk food as well as the compulsiveness associated with binge eating. In addition, we studied which area of the brain was mediating the effects of memantine, by injecting the drug directly into the brain of binge eating rats.

Our data show that memantine was able to block binge eating of the sugary diet, the willingness to work to obtain a cue associated with junk food, as well as the risky behavior of rats when the sugary diet was provided in a potentially unsafe environment. When we injected the drug directly into the nucleus accumbens of rats, they stopped binge eating. Importantly, the drug had no effects in control rats eating a standard laboratory diet.

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Eating Disorders in Men Under Recognized

Ulla Räisänen Senior Researcher HERG Health Experiences Research Group Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford Oxford OX1 2ETMedicalResearch.com  Interview with
Ulla Räisänen
Senior Researcher
HERG Health Experiences Research Group
Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
University of Oxford Oxford OX1 2ET

MedicalResearch.com : What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We conducted a qualitative interview study exploring how young men (aged 16-25) recognise eating disorder symptoms and decide to seek help, and to examine their experiences of initial contacts with primary care in the UK.

Our data suggest that the widespread perception of eating disorders as uniquely or predominantly a female problem led to an initial failure by young men to recognise their behaviours as symptoms of an eating disorder. Many presented late in their illness trajectory when eating disorder behaviours and symptoms were entrenched, and some felt that opportunities to recognise their illness had been missed because of others’ lack of awareness of eating disorders in men. In addition, the men discussed the lack of gender-appropriate information and resources for men with eating disorders as an additional impediment to making sense of their experiences, and some felt that health and other professionals had been slow to recognise their symptoms because they were men. Continue reading

Indoor Tanning and Eating Disorders Linked in Adolescents

MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Stephen M. Amrock, SM
Department of Pediatrics
New York University School of Medicine
New York, NY 10016

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We analyzed data from a nationally representative survey on youth risk behaviors. After adjusting for other risk taking behaviors, we found that high school adolescents who indoor tan were much more likely to also engage in behaviors typically associated with eating disorders. We also noted that the link between indoor tanning and such harmful weight control behaviors was even stronger among males than females.

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Diabetes: Association with Depression and Eating Disorders

Dr Peter de Jonge Interdisciplinary Center for Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Peter de Jonge
Interdisciplinary Center for Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Netherlands


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. de Jonge: The main findings were that depression and impulse control disorders, in particular binge eating and bulimia were associated with diabetes.
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