Central Noradrenergic, Dopaminergic and Serotoninergic Functions in Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia NervosaName : Dr. Francesca Brambilla
Affliation : Professor and Former Director Of The Psychoneuroendocrine Center
University : Verona University
Country : Italy
Abnormalities of brain serotonin (5-ht), noradrenaline (ne) and dopamine (da) secretions and of their specific central receptor sensitivities have been suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa (an) and bulimia nervosa (bn). Data on the concentrations of the 3 neurotransmitters in the cerebrospinal fluid, however, are indicative only of their secretions in a single moment and not all along the 24 hours or the course of the diseases. In our studies in an and bn patients we measured the sensitivity of 5-ht, ne and da central receptors, obtained by secretory stimulation or inhibition tests, their sensitivity representing an indication of normal, hyper- or hypo secretion of the specific neurotransmitter. 5-ht central receptor sensitivity was measured by the prolactin (prl) response to d-fenfluramine (a 5-ht releasing factor) stimulation, ne sensitivity by the growth hormone (gh) response to clonidine (an alpha-2 adrenoceptor stimulator), da sensitivity by the gh response to the d1-d2 receptor agonist Apo morphine. In bulimics a central 5-ht hypo secretion was suggested by the blunted prl response to d-fenfluramine, in an and bn by the blunted gh response to Apo morphine suggested a receptor subsensitivity due to da hyper secretion, in bn the blunted response to d-fenfluramine was indicative of a reduced central 5-ht function.
All together our data are probative for a reduced ne function in an, a reduced 5-ht function in bn and an increased da function in bn, together with correlations between the pathological neurotransmitter secretions and specific symptomatologic aspects of the two diseases.
Dr. Francesca Brambilla has done her Postdoctoral degree in Endocrinology in 1957 at Firenze University, Italy. Later in 1959-1960 she has done her Fellowship in Endocrinology at the New York University, New York, USA. In 1967 she made her Full professorship of Endocrinology at Roma University, Italy. In each position Dr. Brambilla had done both clinical and research work. Between years 1961-1995, she worked as Director of the Psychoneuroendocrine Center and Center for Study and treatment of Disorders of Eating Behavior of the State Psychiatric Hospitals of Milano, Italy. Later, she is still serving as Director of the Psychoneuroendocrine Center and consultant of the Center for Disorders of Eating Behavior of the Department of Psychiatry, S. Raffaele Hospital, and Milano, Italy. She has more than 40 years of research experience as well as teaching experience in the field of Psychoneuroendocrinolgy and she is still enthusiastic for present day research. She is a member of most reputed scientific societies and associations such as, Italian Society of Psychiatry, Italian Society of Biological Psychiatry, World Psychiatric Association, World Society of Biological Psychiatry, Italian Society of Endocrinology, International Society of Endocrinology, International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, European Council of Eating Disorders, Academy for Eating Disorders, Eating Disorders Research Society, Italian Society of Neurosciences etc. She authored many more than 100 research articles.