Binge eating disorder: An overview on neural, biological and genetic factors
Given the obesity epidemic and the comorbidity between obesity and binge eating disorder (BED), it is important to understand the pathophysiology of BED which causes significant distress for many overweight and obese individuals. BED has been traditionally viewed as a behavioral disorder and, as a result, its genetic and biological bases are not yet fully understood. As with most psychological disorders, both genetic and environmental factors are involved in the development of BED; however it is unclear how much they each contribute to its etiology. This chapter will review the current literature on the underlying genetic and biological factors of BED, as well as the neural mechanisms associate with the etiology of BED and binge-like eating by using evidence from both animal models and human studies. Evidence from heritability and its interaction with environment as well as hormonal and neural dysregulation involved in eating disorders will be presented to elucidate the possible predictors and diagnostic biomarkers that predispose an individual towards binge eating and BED. © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.