Several thousands of scientific research articles have been published across medical and professional journals over the past two decades giving insight into the workings of the brain and its functioning when it comes to eating disorders—beginning with genetic studies. Many studies have been conducted to isolate specific genes that may lead to the onset of an eating disorder, and while a specific gene has not been identified, there is a degree of evidence that certain genes appear to increase the likelihood of the onset in individuals. Still, many studies have reported that 33% to 84% of the onset of anorexia nervosa may be related to genetic heritability.1 Understanding the influential role that genetics can play will help patients and families realize that the cause of an eating disorder can be extremely complex and there may not be a simple explanation.
Eating disorder demystification involves a fuller comprehension of the complexities of the neurobiology of these conditions and how they contribute to the thoughts, behaviors, and corresponding treatment plans required for recovery. A quest for simple explanations and a quick fix for treatment remain elusive owing to a multitude of biological, psychological, and environmental factors that are difficult to locate and identify. Current treatments remain primarily psychotherapeutic; however, the emerging scientific research is paving the way for enhanced treatment through biological interventions. In the meantime, patients, families, and clinicians will all benefit by understanding the neurobiological impact of an eating disorder.
by Jeffrey DeSarbo, DO
About the author –
Jeffrey DeSarbo, D.O. is a Board Certified Psychiatrist in private practice in Garden City, NY and is the Founder and Medical Director of ED-180 Treatment Programs.
Please find below handouts and video for ‘Interpersonal Neurobiology in the Treatment of Eating Disorders’. We posted about this webinar last week.
Thank you to all who attended the webinar.
This webinar explores the impact of the principles of interpersonal neurobiology on the treatment of eating disorders.