Obesity can be triggered by more than 70 ‘rare’ genetic syndromes

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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.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The weirder side of obesity: genetic forms of obesity are rare yet numerous

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia.

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