Body dysmorphic disorder could be due to 'abnormal brain connections'

New research has revealed body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) could be linked to 'bad wiring' in the brain, according to

According to scientists at the University of Los Angeles, the condition, where sufferers have an excessive preoccupation with their image, may be caused by abnormal network wiring patterns across the whole brain. It is also thought that sufferers might possess faulty connections between the regions of the brain that handle visuals and emotions.

During the study, the scientists performed brain scans on 14 adults who were diagnosed with BDD, along with 16 healthy adults. Results showed that those suffering from BDD had a high network of 'clustering' across the brain.

Talking about the study, Dr Jamie Feusner, who was part of the research team, told "We found a strong [link] between low efficiency of connections across the whole brain and the severity of body dysmorphic disorder."

He continued: "The less efficient the patients' brain connection, the worse the symptoms, particularly for compulsive behaviours, such as checking mirrors."

The research could help explain the reasons why sufferers see themselves as disfigured or ugly, when they appear normal to others. As well as checking mirrors, other symptoms of the condition include social and family withdrawal, anxiety, chronic low self-esteem and strong feelings of shame. Those who think that may be suffering should contact their local GP who may be able to recommend therapy such as counselling courses to help.