Rachel Charlene Lewis
August 08, 2016 11:21 am
Dan Gold/Unsplash

Today in *WOW* news, a new report from researchers at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital announced major progress toward finding a simpler cure for binge eating, the most common eating disorder in the U.S.

What is binge eating?

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, binge eating is “an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food.” Though typically taken less seriously than other eating disorders like anorexia, it can be just as deadly and traumatizing, affecting 3.5% of women and 2% of men.

What you should know about the study

Currently, we treat binge eating disorders with cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and pharmacotherapy. This study sought a simpler treatment via the brain. The report, published in Biological Psychiatry, discussed how the scientists discovered that certain neural circuits (created when multiple neurons become interconnected) stopped binge eating in mice.

“Human literature suggests that dysfunction of the serotonin system or dopamine system in the brain may be associated with developing binge-like eating behavior,” said Dr. Yong Xu.

The results

According to the scientists, there is a receptor that plays a major role in inhibiting the disorder, and they are hopeful that this study will help decide whether or not a drug currently used to treat obesity could be repurposed for an effective cure.

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