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The study of the biological causes of Eating Disorders is an active line of research. Different lines of research are focused on the study of personality traits, cognition, neurobiology, hormones, the function and structure of the brain, and genetics, in order to better understand the underlying biological causes of the EDs.
The genetic discoveries are rapidly advancing in Anorexia Nervosa, but not so much in Bulimia Nervosa or in Binge Disorder. Very large patient samples are needed in order to discover the genetic variants associate with a higher risk of developing an ED. The genetics studies, along with the studies on environmental causes and gene‑environment interaction, are key factors in order to better understand the causes of the EDs.
The studies on the function and structure of the brain show new evidence on how the functioning of the brain and its connections are different in patients with an ED.
To better understand the EDs will help in the development of prevention programs and personalised treatments that may be more effective. In order to achieve this objective, studies are also being conducted to evaluate the efficacy of the psychological treatments or those with medications.