Eye Damage Seen in Anorexia Nervosa

Eating disorder may affect macular thickness and dopaminergic neurotransmission

FRIDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Anorexia nervosa (AN) may cause serious eye damage, even without noticeable vision loss, according to research published online Oct. 19 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

To evaluate anatomical and functional damage of the macula and optic nerve in AN patients, Marilita M. Moschos, M.D., of the University of Athens Medical School in Greece, and colleagues compared macular thickness, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness, and electrical activity in 13 women with AN without visual failure and 20 healthy controls.

Although visual acuity, central vision, and color vision were normal in all subjects, the researchers found that the AN patients had a significantly thinner macula and RNFL. The AN patients also had significantly less firing of dopamine, a key element in processing visual images.

"The present study shows that, in patients with AN, even without visual failure there is a decrease in macular and RNFL thickness, as well as a decrease in the electrical activity of the macula," the authors write.

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith

Published on October 22, 2010

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