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Bulimia Clinical Research

Bulimia clinical research is primarily focused on understanding and treating this eating disorder. Current areas of bulimia research include appetite control biology, hormones, genetics, and the brain. Scientists are also looking for ways to better treat the condition, as well as to prevent it from developing in the first place.

Bulimia Clinical Research: An Overview

Bulimia clinical research is contributing to advances in the understanding and treatment of bulimia.
Researchers involved with bulimia clinical research are focusing on a number of different areas, including the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, medications, and the combination of these treatments, with the goal of improving outcomes for people with bulimia.
Researchers are also studying the impact of various factors on the development of bulimia, including:
  • Appetite control biology
  • Genetics
  • The brain
  • Hormones.

Appetite Control Biology

Bulimia involves serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as an extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight.
Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point develop into bulimia. Studies on the basic biology of appetite control and its alteration by prolonged starvation and binging have uncovered enormous complexity, but, in the end, have the potential to lead to new pharmacologic treatments for bulimia.


Several family and twin studies suggest that there is a strong chance that bulimia is passed down in families, and researchers are searching for genes that indicate a susceptibility to bulimia.
Scientists suspect that multiple genes may interact with environmental and other factors to increase the risk of developing bulimia. Identification of "susceptibility genes" can help lead to the development of improved treatments for bulimia.
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