Eating disorders and the serotonin connection: state, trait and developmental effects


Alterations in brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) function are thought to contribute to diverse aspects of eating disorders, including binge eating, perfectionism, impulsivity and mood-regulation problems. In addition, 5-HT anomalies in individuals with eating disorders are believed to have multiple determinants associated with secondary (state-related) effects of their nutritional status, hereditary effects (related to such trait variations as impulsivity or perfectionism) and, possibly, long-term neurobiologic sequelae of developmental stressors (such as childhood abuse). On the strength of the available neurobiologic and genetic data, this paper presents the idea that 5-HT variations in those with eating disorders represent (1) a structured coaggregation of biologic, psychologic and social influences and (2) converging state, trait and developmental effects. Data are taken to support a multidimensional model of 5-HT function in eating disorders that, it is argued, can serve as a prototype for etiologic modelling, diagnostic classification and clinical decision-making bearing not only upon eating disorders but also upon other psychiatric disturbances.

Documentos Relacionados