Interacting Neural Processes of Feeding, Hyperactivity, Stress, Reward, and the Utility of the Activity-Based Anorexia Model of Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric illness with minimal effective treatments and a very high rate of mortality. Understanding the neurobiological underpinnings of the disease is imperative for improving outcomes and can be aided by the study of animal models. The activity-based anorexia rodent model (ABA) is the current best parallel for the study of AN. This review describes the basic neurobiology of feeding and hyperactivity seen in both ABA and AN, and compiles the research on the role that stress-response and reward pathways play in modulating the homeostatic drive to eat and to expend energy, which become dysfunctional in ABA and AN.

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