The Biological Basis of Bulimia Nervosa

  • Sarah Brien


Bulimia nervosa is a distressing disorder. This chapter attempts to address some of the research findings from studies performed since 1979 when bulimia was first diagnosed as a psychiatric illness by Russell.1 The increasing prevalence of bulimia in our society highlights the continuing need for research to aid our understanding as to why certain individuals will become bulimic and continue to maintain their behaviour in spite of the obvious physical and emotional detriment to themselves. A myriad of factors contribute to its initiation and maintenance and an eclectic view becomes both necessary and appropriate. Although the following chapter will concentrate specifically on the role of the neurotransmitter serotonin in its pathogenesis and maintenance, the disorder bulimia involves a range of other factors. A thorough discussion of the psychological and social aspects of this disorder is not feasible here, but where appropriate reference to pertinent aspects of these approaches will be made.


Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa Addictive Behaviour 
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© Adrian Bonner and James Waterhouse 1996

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  • Sarah Brien

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