Anorexia may be caused by dopamine over-activity in the brain.

Recent finding: Anorexia nervosa sufferers may have increased chemical activity in their dopamine receptors, which control reward and reinforcement, Dopamine affects how individuals respond to stimuli and how positive and negative reinforcement are viewed. This may explain why women with anorexia don't get any pleasure from losing weight. About one percent of American women have anorexia—it is the number-one cause of death from any psychiatric illness. Some medications that block dopamine receptors, such as antipsychotics, may benefit people with this illness, but more research is needed.

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