Anorexia nervosa is a debilitating eating disorder that has long been considered to be solely a psychiatric condition. Traditionally those with anorexia have been treated with psychological interventions, but they are not always successful, and we may now know why.
Researchers from King’s College London, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill compared the DNA of 72,000 people; 17,000 with, and 55,000 without anorexia. By comparing the DNA of these two groups there were able to identify eight genes that linked anorexia to other conditions such as depression and anxiety. They also, unexpectedly, found DNA that linked anorexia to the metabolism. This discovery may explain why treating anorexia as purely psychological is unsuccessful, as it is not just the mind that is involved with the condition.
This new discovery will open the door for future studies into novel treatment plans that include the metabolism. It may also prove useful in detecting which patients are most at risk for relapse after recovery.
Source: The Guardian
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