ANS52(3-4)113-117 - ACTIVITAS NERVOSA SUPERIOR Activitas...

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Activitas Nervosa Superior 2010; 52 :3-4,113-117 113 F OOD C RAVING , S TRESS AND L IMBIC I RRITABILITY Miroslav Svetlak* Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic Center for Neuropsychiatric Research of Traumatic Stress & Department of Psychiatry, 1 st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic Received August 23, 2010; accepted September 12, 2010 Abstract Recent findings show that food craving is strongly related to emotional distress. Stress-induced feeding is a phenomenon related to sensitization associated with repeated stress stimuli and related increase in incentive salience attributed to known familiar foods and increased craving. Because stress sensitization may also produce seizure-like activity, aim of the present study was to test a hypothesis that food craving could be linked to heightened level of seizure-like symptoms that present cognitive and affective symptoms related to temporo-limbic hyperexcitability. In order to achieve this goal we have measured indices of food craving, traumatic stress and seizure-like symptoms using psychometric measures in 257 university students. The results indicate statistically significant correlations of food craving with traumatic stress symptoms (r=0.26, p<0.05), dissociative symptoms (r=0.37, p<0.01) and seizure-like symptoms (r=0.41, p<0.01). These results present first supportive evidence that food craving in healthy persons may be related to traumatic stress and sei- zure-like symptoms. The present results also support findings that traumatic stress may lead to kindling-like sensitization that could play a role in food craving mechanisms. Key words: Food craving; Limbic irritability; Stress INTRODUCTION There is growing evidence that palatable food, similarly as addictive drugs, can activate the brain reward system and produce powerful behavioral reinforcement (Cota et al., 2006; Hernandez & Hoebel, 1988; Robinson & Ber- ridge, 1993; Mercer & Holder, 1997; Rogers & Hen- drik, 2000). Complex interactions of bio-psycho-social factors of palatable food intake may lead to neurobiological adap- tations that eventually increase food intake characte- rized by subjective feeling of food craving (Volkow & Wise, 2005; Robinson & Berridge, 1993). Pleasure re- lated to hedonic impact of food (”liking”) and the moti- vational incentive value (“wanting”) frequently occur simultaneously (Berridge, 2004) but they may disso- ciate and “pathological wanting” (craving) may emerge independently of liking and physiological nutritional needs (Robinson & Berridge, 1993; Finlayson, King & Blundell, 2007, 2008). Many researches show that normal healthy people sometimes experience a craving for certain food, fe- males more often than males (Pelchat, 1997; Weingar- ten & Elston, 1991). Food craving presents irresistible need for food intake that presents subjective experience motivating people to eat a particular food (Pelchat, 2002; Mercer & Holder, 1997). Recent findings show
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2011 for the course CLINICAL P 2010 taught by Professor Actnervsuper during the Spring '11 term at The Chicago School of Prof. Psychology.

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ANS52(3-4)113-117 - ACTIVITAS NERVOSA SUPERIOR Activitas...

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