Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Thomas Borowski

Reader 2

Catherine Reed

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© 2020 Hazal S Dinc


Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric disorder that is characterized by an obsession towards losing weight, severe food restriction, and distorted self-body image. It has been found that along with societal factors, genetic and biological factors play an important role in the development of the disorder. While there are currently no FDA approved medications available, recent research has been targeting the endocannabinoid system because of its regulatory roles in both appetite and reward pathways.

Even though recent research has been showing promising results, we claim that the current AN models used to evaluate treatments are not adequate to understand the nature of the disorder and therefore may be misleading. We proposed a more holistic approach to model AN that focuses on the connection between the self-starving behaviors of the AN patients and the addiction-like characteristics of the disorder. Based on our model, it was discovered that while targeting the ECS might facilitate appetite and eating in AN patients, it also can cause addiction reinforcement, making it harder for AN patients to recover from the compulsive self-starving behavior and increasing the chances of relapses. It was concluded that targeting the ECS would have contrasting effects on AN patients and should definitely be investigated more in depth in order to be considered as a potential target.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.