Decreased platelet monoamine oxidase activity in female bulimia nervosa.

The involvement of brain serotonin systems in the pathophysiology of eating disorders has been repeatedly demonstrated in recent studies. Platelet MAO activity is an index of brain serotonin activity and lowered platelet MAO levels have been found in association with impulsive behaviors. In addition, some preliminary reports indicate that platelet MAO could be lowered in eating disorder patients.
47 patients with DSM-IV eating disorders were studied, including 30 with bulimia nervosa and 17 with anorexia nervosa binge eating-purging type. Platelet MAO activity was measured by isotopic methods using C-14 benzylamine and compared with a control group of 30 healthy subjects. Impulsive personality features were studied with specific rating scales.
Platelet MAO activity was significantly lower (4.4+/-2.4 nmol/h/10(8) platelets) in the bulimic patients than in the control group (6.9+/-2.5) (p<0.001). No significant differences were found between pure bulimics and binge eating-purging anorectics. Platelet MAO was inversely and significantly correlated with scores on impulsivity scales and with borderline personality disorder characteristics.
Platelet MAO activity is lowered in patients with bulimia, which may reflect dysfunction in impulse control mechanisms. Since platelet MAO has a predominant genetic component, there is need for studies on the association of low platelet MAO and higher risk for developing eating disorders.
AuthorsJ L Carrasco, M Díaz-Marsá, E Hollander, J César, J Saiz-Ruiz
JournalEuropean neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (Eur Neuropsychopharmacol) Vol. 10 Issue 2 Pg. 113-7 (Mar 2000) ISSN: 0924-977X [Print] NETHERLANDS
PMID10706992 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anorexia Nervosa (blood, enzymology, psychology)
  • Blood Platelets (enzymology)
  • Bulimia (blood, enzymology, psychology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Monoamine Oxidase (blood)
  • Personality Disorders (blood, enzymology)
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reference Values

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