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A bulimics or anorexics I-function may also be positively affected by drugs which can change its neuro-chemical environment In this chemical fashion relief may be found for affected individuals Numerous hormones cortisol orexin A orexin B luteinizing hormone luteinizing-hormone-releasing factor and follicle-stimulating hormone have been linked to these eating disorders These hormones are all present in healthy people while in those affected with an eating disorder the levels or distributions are abnormal The brain hormone cortisol is found to be at elevated levels in patients with anorexia This hormone is usually released in response to stress In these sick individuals it appears to be mis-released by malfunctions in the hypothalamus1 Two newly discovered hormones orexin A and orexin B are connected with feeding behavior in rats By modulating feelings of hunger and satiety the scientists can influence how much a rat eats Following injection of these hormones into the lateral hypothalamus the rats were found to immediately begin eating eight to ten times more food than normal Following up on this finding they measured elevated hormone levels when the rat was starved These researchers have not yet been able to see if a decrease of orexin A and B result in decreased appetites but they are planning on genetically engineering rats which will be missing the gene needed to produce them thus allowing them to test the deficiency The hypothesis of this research is that drugs that mimic orexin may help anorexic patients overcome their disorder while drugs which block orexin action may help bulimics 10 Instead of identifying a chemical and then locating the receptor it binds to in order to learn what it does they first looked for orphan receptors or those with no know function When a receptor binds to its matched protein called a ligand it trips a series of cellular signals that turn genes on and off After extensive searching the group zeroed in on two receptors produced in
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