Pica in an eating disordered woman with multiple sclerosis: impulse dys-control, compulsive symptom or self-medication attempt?Eat Weight Disord 2010 Mar-Jun; 15(1-2):e116-8EW
We report about a complex case of pica in comorbidity with multiple sclerosis and binge eating disorder. Pica is classified among the feeding and eating disorders of infancy and early childhood, but there is a debate in the literature about the psychopathology and classification of this behavior. Some authors emphasize the similarities with the obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, whereas others propose an interpretation of pica as an addiction or as an impulsive behavior. The clinical case that we describe provides a picture of impulsive and compulsive features that are very difficult to disentangle. It is noteworthy that hypercalcemia is reported to have a protective/therapeutic effect against multiple sclerosis and seems to increase the plasmatic levels of beta-endorphins. The nature, diagnostic classification, and functions of pica are a topic worthy of future investigation.