Scientists Zero In on Genetic Clues to Anorexia
Markers linked to autism show up in eating-disorder patients
By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 2:58 PM CST
This Jan. 2005 file photo shows Uruguayan model Eliana Ramos, 18, as she poses for a photograph in Punta de Este, Uruguay. Eliana died in February 2007 of an anorexia-linked heart attack.   (AP Photo/Ricardo Figueredo, FILE)

(Newser) – Researchers have found a set of genetic alterations linked to the development of anorexia, LiveScience reports. The eating disorder had previously been thought to be highly heritable, but specific genetic markers hadn't been identified. If more are found, people at risk for the disorder could be identified early.

In the latest study, one of the areas with variations has been previously identified with autism. "The fact that they come up now in this disease, which is another sort of neural psychiatric disease, is in my view, very intriguing," says the lead researcher. Any potential links will be examined in further studies.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
stacysaw
Nov 23, 2010 5:06 PM CST
having some experience with this, the behaviors can show a similarity. the fixations that anorexics develop are far beyond willpower or even determination. it's way beyond "perfection seeking." it is an alteration of how your brain works and you can sense that it's happening. in my experience, it stops being a perseveration of "i can't eat that" and "i'm so fat" and moves into a place where your brain and your body simply can't connect with that part of the outside world anymore. it's very much like a part of the everyday world just doesn't come through or compute anymore. please believe me when i say that having a "medicine" to "treat" this "genetic disorder" could've given yours truly about 7 years of life back.
Bob Whynot
Nov 23, 2010 3:57 PM CST
I`d called it idiocy because the world is full of supposed Autismists whos parents won`t take responsibility or face the true nature of their offspring. Anyway I know a girl over 30 and pretty same mind as I, elsewise, who doesn`t know shidd about calories(all just made to believe so far) and she doesn`t even wanna talk about it. So her consume of food( calories/joules) is in the end negative, and shove to her across to some facts on this all matter isn`t easy, and there the supposed autism comes into effect, also she seemingly has no intentions in relation to food and stuff, but holds the head up high for just talking bout it , and anything else in connection with her can be time consuming as she is a no facts person.
IndependentThinker
Nov 23, 2010 3:38 PM CST
If it works better than the current treatment of anti-depressants and psychotherapy then I am all for it.