Eating disorders are complex brain disorders that afflict millions of individuals worldwide. The etiology of these diseases is not fully understood, but a growing body of literature suggests that stress and anxiety may play a critical role in their development. As our understanding of the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to disease in clinical populations like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder continue to grow, neuroscientists are using animal models to understand the neurobiology of stress and feeding. We hypothesize that eating disorder clinical phenotypes may result from stress-induced maladaptive alterations in neural circuits that regulate feeding, and that these circuits can be neurochemically isolated using animal model of eating disorders.
Keywords: Animal models; anorexia nervosa; anxiety; binge eating disorder; bulimia nervosa; eating disorders; feeding; neural circuits; plasticity; stress.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.