Neurocognitive and psychopharmacological mechanisms underlying disordered eating

Martin, Elizabeth (2023). Neurocognitive and psychopharmacological mechanisms underlying disordered eating. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of this thesis was to investigate the neurocognitive and psychopharmacological mechanisms underlying disordered eating. Chapter One provides an introduction to the research area. In Chapter Two, inattentive and impulsive ADHD symptoms in a population sample predicted disordered eating, and negative mood fully accounted for the relationship between impulsivity and disordered eating, while partially accounting for the relationship between inattention and disordered eating. In Chapter Three, the effects of Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate (LDX) on neural processing of food cues in women with binge eating symptoms was assessed, to understand the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of LDX as the only approved treatment for binge eating disorder. The results demonstrated an LDX-induced reduction of thalamic responses to food cues, suggesting that this is one mechanism through which LDX reduces binge eating symptoms. A systematic review of existing literature in Chapter Four revealed that deficits in interoception are consistently associated with disordered eating. Chapter Five examined the possibility that such deficits in interoception may explain the association between cognitive processes and disordered eating identified in Chapter Two. The results from Chapter Five revealed that interoceptive accuracy specifically mediated the relationship between inattention and binge eating. The theoretical and clinical implications of these studies are discussed in Chapter Six. Briefly, the research presented in this thesis highlights the contribution of processes including attention, impulsivity, and interoception to disordered eating. These processes may prove to be efficacious targets in the future development of novel tools for screening and prevention of eating disorders and for the discovery of improved therapies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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