Bulimia nervosa and evidence for striatal dopamine dysregulation: A conceptual review

About this resource

Objective: This article reviews concepts and evidence, based in particular on the work of Bartley G. Hoebel and colleagues, which suggest that a better understanding of the role of striatal dopamine (DA) in the initiation and/or maintenance of bulimia nervosa (BN) may result in a clearer characterization of mechanisms underlying BN. Methods: Literature review, using PubMed search. Results: Several lines of evidence, including the work of Bartley G. Hoebel, implicate the importance of striatal DA in feeding behavior, as well as in the disordered eating behaviors relevant to BN. Preclinical models of 'BN-like' eating behaviors have been associated with changes in striatal DA and DA receptor measures. Emerging clinical research also suggests that striatal DA abnormalities exist in individuals with BN. Conclusion: Alterations in striatal DA may exist in patients with BN. While the precise relationship between these findings and the etiology and maintenance of bulimic symptomatology remains unclear, further investigation of brain DA systems is a fruitful avenue of future research in BN. (c) 2011 Elsevier Inc.

AuthorBroft, Allegra I.; Berner, Laura a.; Martinez, Diana & Walsh, B. Timothy
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume104(1):122-127
Year2011

See also

The validity and utility of subtyping bulimia nervosa

OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence for the validity and utility of subtyping bulimia nervosa (BN) into a purging (BN-P) and a nonpurging subtype (BN-NP), and of distinguishing BN-NP from binge eating disorder (BED), by comparing course, complications, and treatment.

Read more

Disordered eating in girls with Type 1 diabetes: Examining directions for prevention

Girls with Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus [IDDM]) have been identified to be at an increased risk for developing bulimia nervosa (BN) and subthreshold eating disorders.

Read more

Neural basis of a multidimensional model of body image distortion in anorexia nervosa

Body image distortion is a key symptom of anorexia nervosa (AN).

Read more

Eating disorders: Screening, identification & Referral Guide

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses with a range of potentially life-threatening medical complications.

Read more

Help us improve!

Give us feedback!

We will continue throughout 2019 to update and improve the NEDC website and welcome any feedback you may have on the site.

Provide feedback