The period of adolescence is often overlooked in basic and clinical research studies, and the feeding behavior field is no exception. The discovery of rare, monogenic forms of obesity in mice and humans that cause early onset-hyperphagia and weight gain opened the door to investigations of the underlying brain circuits and, in some cases, the identification of effective treatments. These early success stories overshadow evidence from large-scale prospective twin studies that the strongest genetic influences on body mass index and eating disorders risk emerge during adolescence and not early childhood. The Zeltser lab is developing new mouse models to identify brain circuits that mediate genetic influences on emotional eating behaviors in adolescence.
Neural Substrates of Genetic Influences on Emotional Eating in Adolescence
Lori M Zeltser, PhD