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Int J Child Adolesc health. 2009;2(2):153-164.

The Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa: Current Findings and Future Perspectives.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Abstract

Anorexia nervosa is a perplexing illness with the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disease. In this paper, we review the genetic research on anorexia nervosa (AN). Family studies have demonstrated that anorexia nervosa is familial, and twin studies have indicated that additive genetic factors contribute to the familial aggregation. Molecular genetic research, including genomewide linkage and case control association studies, have not been successful in identifying DNA variants that are unequivocally involved in the etiology of AN. We provide a critical appraisal of these studies and discuss methodological issues that may be implicated in conflicting results. Furthermore, we discuss issues relevant to genetic research such as the importance of phenotypic refinement, the use of endophenotypes, and the implications for nosology and genetic analysis. Finally, the future of genetic research for AN is discussed in terms of genomewide association studies (GWAS) and the need for establishing large samples.

PMID:
20191112
PMCID:
PMC2828778

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