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Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

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Introduction

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa People who suffer from anorexia nervosa try to lose weight by starvation, whereas those suffering from bulimia nervosa often binge eat (overeat) followed by purging themselves of what they have just consumed in order to maintain a constant weight. The age range from the two illnesses differ slightly, with those suffering from bulimia nervosa being of the age range, 16-40, and the majority of those suffering from anorexia nervosa being diagnosed between the ages of 13-18. The age range in obviously more varied in bulimia, though that is not to say that there are not cases of anorexia in a more diverse age group. In addition, the consequences of the two conditions affect different factors of the individual. Studies have found anorexia being the main cause of considerable amounts of reduced grey matter in weight-recovered patients. Anorexia patients are also more likely to die from starvation, suicide or organ malfunction than Bulimics. ...read more.

Middle

was thirty female twins (16 MZ and 14 DZ pairs), four male twin pairs and one set of male triplets. The findings on this case were that there was a higher concordance rate in monozygotic female twins (55%) in comparison to the 7% of dizygotic female twins. Although approximately nine of the female co-twins did not suffer from any sort of disorder, it was found that five of the non-anorexic female co-twins suffered from either other psychiatric illnesses or minor eating disorders. In terms of the male twins (or triplets) none of them had anorexia and was therefore, discordant, though an interesting find was that the anorexic male of the twins appeared to have been disadvantaged at birth and to be the less dominant of the pairs. The conclusion appeared to be in favour of a genetic link to developing anorexia, considering the high concordance rate in twins with 100% of the same genes. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though privacy should be provided, it is valuable to have information such as age and ethnicity as part of this experiment. It is said that approximately 1% of schoolgirls and university students suffer from anorexia in the UK alone, and so the high concordance rate of the monozygotic twins could be explained by perhaps the majority of the monozygotic twins belonging to this age range, therefore, the likelihood of the findings would be more in favour to higher concordance. Likewise, the lower concordance rate in the dizygotic twins could be explained by there being less pairs coming from this age range. Ethnicity is also a slight factor in the probability of contracting the illness. It was shown that the rates of anorexia is most prevalent in Caucasian women. The effects of this information is similar to age, where if the pairs of twins were mostly of Caucasian ethnicity, the percentage of higher concordance would most likely be more prominent than if they were of mixed ethnicities. Lena Tran: PSY7 [EMA] ...read more.

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