Washington: Researchers have identified two gene mutations that appear to be associated with an increased risk of developing eating disorders, which are disturbing and often-heartbreaking ailments that are relatively common, mostly among younger women.
Key to developing that research, led by the University of Iowa's Michael Lutter, was the participation of eating-disorders facilities including NRI, which has provided long-term support in the form of critical-and anonymized- information about folks suffering from eating disorders.
According to university of North Dakota physician and researcher James Mitchell, the new study suggests a new strategy to understand, and eventually may lead to innovative treatments for, eating disorders.
"We have participated in the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium for several years. That group is now pooling the DNA we collected with samples from other groups that have formed an international collaborative to increase power for genome-wide association studies," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the recently published research about the genetic links in eating disorders is "exciting and promising."
Mitchell and his team were part of a group of respected clinicians and scientists collaborating on a research papers in a series of so-called Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS) studies, including Teen LABS.