While scientists have been aware of about two dozen genetic conditions that can cause obesity, a [recent study] finds there are many more. The Canadian researchers have identified and cataloged 79 rare genetic syndromes where obesity is a key symptom.
Despite their focus on rare genetic syndromes, the researchers say their work will be helpful to the millions worldwide who have lost control of their weight for reasons other than genetics.
“If you know the gene and the function of the gene, then you know which biological mechanism is defective,” said David Meyre, an associate professor at McMaster University’s School of Medicine in Ontario, Canada.
“For the study, we focused on monogenic forms of obesity,” said Meyre. He explained that monogenic forms mean that if you have one mutation, you develop the disease. “It’s not that it increases your risk, it’s 100% sure you develop the disease,” he said.
In the monogenic obesity syndromes, not only does the genetic defect result in obesity but it also causes additional abnormal features, including mental disability, characteristic facial features, kidney disease and heart malformation.[The study can be found here.]
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