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Behavioral response to catecholamine depletion in patients with bulimia nervosa off medication and healthy controls

English title Behavioral response to catecholamine depletion in patients with bulimia nervosa off medication and healthy controls
Applicant Hasler Gregor
Number 117763
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Psychiatrische Poliklinik Universitätsspital Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Neurology, Psychiatry
Start/End 01.12.2007 - 30.04.2011
Approved amount 233'956.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Neurology, Psychiatry
Pharmacology, Pharmacy

Keywords (5)

catecholaminergic system; psychostimulants; antidepressants; temptation/impulsivity; neurbiology of purchase

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating and recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain such as self-induced vomiting and excessive exercise. Since dopamine is involved in the coordination of motor activity and is thought to moderate feeding by inhibiting hunger and reducing protein consumption, the dopamine system is considered a key neurotransmitter system in the pathophysiology of abnormal food intake patterns such as Bulimia.There are many hypotheses about the role of dopamine in animal and human behavior, and many relate dopamine neurotransmission to brain reward pathways. In animals, dopamine has been found to play a role in reward anticipation, hedonic experiences, effortful behaviors, motor activation and inhibition, appetite and satiety. Major psychiatric conditions including depression, addiction and eating disorders are associated with impairments of these psychological functions. One instructive paradigm for directly investigating the relationship between dopamine function, psychological function and psychiatric disorders has involved the behavioral response to catecholamine depletion, i.e., experimental reduction of dopamine and noradrenaline in the synaptic vesicles, achieved by oral administration of alpha-methyl-paratyrosine that blocks the syntheses of these neurotransmitters. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, the behavioral and endocrine response to reduced dopamine neurotransmission is assessed in patients with Bulimia and healthy controls. Assessments include psychiatric rating scales (particularly bulimia, depression and anxiety symptoms) and behavioral experiments that specifically measure various aspects of the human brain reward system. This is the first study that directly examines the role of dopamine in Bulimia and in complex human behaviors including risk taking, resisting temptations and temporal discounting of rewards. This study could open new pharmacological approaches to eating disorders.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Behavioral responses to catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa and healthy subjects.
Grob Simona, Stern Jair, Gamper Lara, Moergeli Hanspeter, Milos Gabriella, Schnyder Ulrich, Hasler Gregor (2015), Behavioral responses to catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa and healthy subjects., in Biological psychiatry, 77(7), 661-667.
The role of BDNF, leptin, and catecholamines in reward learning in bulimia nervosa
Homan Philipp, Grob Simona, Milos Gabriella, Schnyder Ulrich, Eckert Anne, Lang Undine, Hasler Gregor (2015), The role of BDNF, leptin, and catecholamines in reward learning in bulimia nervosa, in International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 18(5), 1-8.
Reduction in total plasma ghrelin levels following catecholamine depletion: Relation to bulimic and depressive symptoms.
Homan Philipp, Grob Simona, Milos Gabriella, Schnyder Ulrich, Hasler Gregor (2013), Reduction in total plasma ghrelin levels following catecholamine depletion: Relation to bulimic and depressive symptoms., in Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38(9), 1545-1552.
Dopamine-related deficit in reward learning after catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa.
Grob Simona, Pizzagalli Diego A, Dutra Sunny J, Stern Jair, Mörgeli Hanspeter, Milos Gabriella, Schnyder Ulrich, Hasler Gregor (2012), Dopamine-related deficit in reward learning after catecholamine depletion in unmedicated, remitted subjects with bulimia nervosa., in Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 37(8), 1945-1952.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Experten-Netzwerk-Essstörungen Schweiz - Frau Dr. Erika Toman Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
World Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Gut-Brain-Axis in Eating Disorder 11.10.2017 Berlin, Germany Hasler Gregor;
DGPPN Jahresversammlung (grösste Psychiatrie-Tagung Europas) Talk given at a conference Die Bedeutung der Hirn-Darm-Achse bei der Bulimie 27.11.2015 Berlin, Germany Hasler Gregor;
26th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress Talk given at a conference Dopaminergic dysfunction and reward learning in bulimia nervosa 05.10.2013 Barcelona, Spain Hasler Gregor; Schnyder Ulrich; Milos Gabriella; Grob Simona;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Orthorexie Zahnmedizin Aktuell German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Resilienz: Der Wir-Faktor International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Wenn gesund essen krank macht Leading Opinion Neurologie und Psychiatrie German-speaking Switzerland 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Wer mit dem Gewicht hadert, ist eher depressiv 20 Minuten German-speaking Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Angst vor dem Erbrechen Spiegel International 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138264 Neural Response to Catecholamine Depletion in Unmedicated Remitted Bulimic Subjects and Healthy Controls 01.08.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)

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