Genes Just Don't Fit?

Genetics may affect eating disorder recovery

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Have you or a loved one tried to recover from an eating disorder, but can't? There may be another reason that's preventing your progress that has nothing to do with will power.

A new study finds that recovery from chronic or long lasting eating disorders - particularly anorexia and bulimia - can be difficult for certain people who have certain genetic patterns.

"Your genes may be to blame for your eating disorder(s)."

Lead author, Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D., assistant professor at School of Medicine and the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), and team found that certain genetic differences put people at higher risk of developing an eating disorder. Those same genes make it more difficult for them to recover from eating disorders.

Researchers also noticed the same genes were linked to traits such as higher anxiety and concern over mistakes. These are characteristic traits often seen in anorexics or bulimics.

The study included 1,878 women with a lifetime diagnosis of either anorexia, bulimia or both. The researchers analyzed different variations in 350 genes.

This study brings psychologists and health professionals one step closer to helping individuals who suffer from eating disorders, says Bloss. Understanding the role genetics plays in eating disorders will help doctors develop more personalized and effective treatment options, she notes.

The research is published in the journal Neuropsychopharmcology.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 28, 2011
Last Updated:
July 31, 2011