Genetics and neurobiology of eating disorders

Academic Article


  • Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder) are a heterogeneous class of complex illnesses marked by weight and appetite dysregulation coupled with distinctive behavioral and psychological features. Our understanding of their genetics and neurobiology is evolving thanks to global cooperation on genome-wide association studies, neuroimaging, and animal models. Until now, however, these approaches have advanced the field in parallel, with inadequate cross-talk. This review covers overlapping advances in these key domains and encourages greater integration of hypotheses and findings to create a more unified science of eating disorders. We highlight ongoing and future work designed to identify implicated biological pathways that will inform staging models based on biology as well as targeted prevention and tailored intervention, and will galvanize interest in the development of pharmacologic agents that target the core biology of the illnesses, for which we currently have few effective pharmacotherapeutics.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bulik CM; Coleman JRI; Hardaway JA; Breithaupt L; Watson HJ; Bryant CD; Breen G
  • Start Page

  • 543
  • End Page

  • 554
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 5