Researchers Tackle Ways of Dealing with Eating Disorders

According to a study, a large number of people who are struggling with eating disorders like anorexia have a “chronic course” which has a tendency of ending very badly for all parties involved.

A group of international scientists headed up at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) in La Jolla, CA has noted that possible genetic variations impact a patient’s recovery from eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.

“This study sheds light on important ‘SNPs’ or genetic variations within an individual’s DNA, associated with long-term, chronic eating disorders,” said Walter H. Kaye, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of UCSD’s Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program, who was senior author with Nicholas J. Schork, Ph.D., director of bioinformatics and biostatistics at STSI and professor at The Scripps Research Institute. “These variations suggest genetic predictors for patients who may be particularly susceptible to eating disorders and whose illnesses are most difficult to treat effectively.”

According to the study’s lead author, Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D., assistant professor at STSI, “Anorexia and bulimia likely stem from many different causes, such as culture, family, life changes and personality traits,” said Bloss. “But we know biology and genetics are highly relevant in terms of cause and can also play a role in how people respond to treatment. Understanding the genetics behind these conditions is important because it could eventually help us tailor treatment based on the person’s genetic makeup, with the goal of more personalized and effective treatments.”

“Individuals with anorexia, in particular, are often resistant to treatment and lack awareness of the medical consequences of their behavior, which can result in chronic, protracted illness and even death,” added Kaye. “The question for us became, ‘Are there prognostic factors that might help clinicians identify good versus poor outcomes for treatments including medication or psychotherapies?’”

Source: Journal Neuropsychopharmacology
Photo: Pexels

More Articles

Sudden light-headedness can be a frightening experience for anyone, particularly if you are unsure of the cause. For many, experiencing occasional...

Maintaining a balanced diet not only keeps our body functioning at its best, it also keeps our skin, hair, and nails looking bright and healthy....

Researchers are closer to finding the genetic cause for binge eating and might be getting closer to an effective treatment. “Based upon our...

When a person begins recovery treatment for anorexia nervosa, they may need to initiate a process known as refeeding. The refeeding process is a...

When a baby is in utero, they develop fine white hairs all over their body. These are known as lanugo hairs and they protect the baby’s skin from...

More Articles

More Articles

Sudden light-headedness can be a frightening experience for anyone, particularly if you are unsure of the cause. For many, experiencing occasional...

Maintaining a balanced diet not only keeps our body functioning at its best, it also keeps our skin, hair, and nails looking bright and healthy....

Researchers are closer to finding the genetic cause for binge eating and might be getting closer to an effective treatment. “Based upon our...

When a person begins recovery treatment for anorexia nervosa, they may need to initiate a process known as refeeding. The refeeding process is a...

When a baby is in utero, they develop fine white hairs all over their body. These are known as lanugo hairs and they protect the baby’s skin from...

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found more than 90 percent of patients with eating disorders not specifically defined (EDNOS) in...

Eating disorders might be hard to talk about, or even to admit to yourself. If you know, or if you even suspect, you have an eating disorder,...

If you suspect your child has an eating disorder, you may feel overwhelmed. There are a few things you should know upfront.

First and...

Eating disorders don't discriminate. They don't care if you're rich or poor, they don't care about your color or gender, and they don't care if...

In the U.S., an estimated one in 200 people develop an eating disorder. That is a startling number, but another number is even more alarming: one...

A lot of what people know about eating disorders comes from "common knowledge." Unfortunately, common knowledge isn't always correct, or it may...

Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight. In many cases, people suffering from this...

Most people find holidays stressful, but the thought of facing holidays can be overwhelming for a person with an eating disorder. If a special day...

Blood disorders are a common occurrence in people with disrupted eating habits or nutrient deficiencies. As a result, people with eating disorders...

Hair loss, hair thinning, brittle fingernails, and flaky skin are all common side effects of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Even though...