In the first study of its kind, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital identified a mechanism for the anorexigenic effect of oxytocin. It attenuates functional connectivity between the ventral tegmental area and other brain regions involved in processing visual food cues.
Departments, Centers, & Programs:
Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Tumor Clinical Center
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
- MD, Harvard Medical School
- Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
American Board Certifications
- Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, American Board of Internal Medicine
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Dr. Lawson is a clinical researcher who studies the role of the hormone oxytocin in a range of disorders, including hypopituitarism, eating disorders, osteopenia/osteoporosis and obesity. Her research also focuses on endocrine abnormalities and food motivation pathways in anorexia nervosa.
Lawson EA et al. Hypopituitarism associated with a giant aneurysm of the internal carotid artery. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008; 93(12):4616.
Lawson EA et al. Decreased nocturnal oxytocin levels in anorexia nervosa are associated with low bone mineral density and fat mass. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2011; 72(11):1546-51.
Lawson EA et al. Oxytocin secretion is associated with severity of disordered eating psychopathology and insular cortex hypoactivation in anorexia nervosa. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012; 97(10):E1898-908.
Lawson EA et al. Leptin levels are associated with decreased depressive symptoms in women across the weight spectrum, independent of body fat. Clinical Endocrinology. 2012; 76(4):520-5.