Examining the genetic roots of anorexia and other eating disorders

anorexia

Characterized by extreme caloric restriction resulting in weight loss, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image, anorexia [nervosa, or AN,] has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Death can be a result of various risks associated with the condition, from suicide to heart failure.

Through studying twins, [researcher Cynthia] Bulik and other researchers have established that AN is 50 percent to 60 percent heritable. Bulik and colleagues have also been involved in multiple projects aiming to identify possible genetic bases of AN and other eating disorders. In 2017, for example, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted by UNC researchers and other members of the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium Eating Disorders Working Group (PGC-ED) turned up a connection between AN and a locus overlapping six genes on chromosome 12.

Related article:  Meet Huda Zoghbi, pediatric neurologist working on rare diseases

The 2017 study also confirmed strong genetic correlations between AN and neuroticism, schizophrenia, and, less expectedly, various metabolic features including body mass index (BMI) and insulin-glucose metabolism. Bulik says that the finding of a possible genetic basis for the condition has been well-received by families and patients, who have long sought recognition that AN is a serious medical disorder, not a dieting choice, as was historically believed. She views the study as the “first step to rewriting the book on AN.”

Read full, original post: Researchers Explore the Genetics of Eating Disorders

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend