Anorexia Nervosa May Cause Serious Eye Damage

Researchers analyzed the thickness of the macula and its electrical activity in both eyes of 13 women with anorexia nervosa and in 20 women without anorexia nervosa all of the women were about the 28 years old. The thirteen women who had anorexia had had the condition for about a ten-year period of time give or take a year.

Analysis of the Eyes

The analysis of the eyes showed that the macula (macula – eye is a small spot where vision is (keenest – clearest/sharpest) in the retina part of the eye.) The nerve layers feeding it (retinal nerve fiber layer) were considerably thinner in the eyes of the women with anorexia nervosa. There was also considerably less firing of the neurotransmitter dopamine (released from the brain in the eyes of the women with anorexia nervosa. Dopamine neurotransmission is a key element of the brain’s ability to process visual images. The amount of damage was also noted seemed to be less damage in the eyes of the individuals at different stages of anorexia.


“The authors conclude that it is not yet clear whether macular thinning and decreased neurotransmitter activity are the initial stages of progressive blindness or whether these signs will revert back to normal once normal eating patterns are resumed.”


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