A deeper understanding of the links between anorexia and autism has uncovered novel opportunities to treat the eating disorder, latest study shows.
Appreciation of the biological basis of eating disorders suggests that such individuals have cognitive behaviour identifiable with those who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
In a study, published online in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Janet Treasure and her colleagues found that there were significantly more people with eating disorders who have trouble modifying their behaviour in response to changing goals, something which is seen in ASDs.
In treating people with anorexia to not only see the fine details but also the bigger picture, mental health professionals hope patients will be less likely to obsess over body weight.
Janet Treasure, of the Institute of Psychiatry, said: ‘Eating disorders and autism spectrum disorders are obviously not the same thing, but they do have some things in common.’