Neuroendocrine mechanisms play a key role in the regulation of eating behavior. In individuals with binge eating disorder (BED), alterations in these mechanisms signaling hunger and satiety have been observed. It has been investigated that these alterations may underlie the development and maintenance of compulsive overeating in BED. The present narrative review examined the current literature related to the neurobiological processes involved in feeding dysregulation in BED with the aim of updating the most relevant aspects with special attention to neuroendocrine signaling. Studies have shown both central and peripheral endocrine dysfunctions in hormones participating in homeostatic and hedonic pathways in BED. Most studies have been especially focused on orexigenic signals, pointing out the existence of a hyperactivated mechanism promoting hunger. Fewer studies have explored anorexigenic pathways, but the findings so far seem to suggest an abnormal satiety threshold. Despite this, to date, it is unable to identify whether these alterations are typical of the BED pathophysiology or are related to an obesogenic pattern due to most studies included patients with BED and obesity. The identification of endophenotypes in BED may provide a new approach to aberrant eating behavior, favoring the implementation of biological therapeutic targets.
Neuroendocrinological factors in binge eating disorder: A narrative review
Isabel Baenas, Romina Miranda-Olivos, Neus Solé-Morata, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Fernando Fernández-Aranda