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Thread: Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

  1. #1

    Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

    Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

    The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has been awarded a grant of 10 million dollars, the largest ever in the field of eating disorders, to investigate the genetics of anorexia nervosa. This study is bringing together 10 different sites worldwide, 7 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada, Germany and England. During the 5 year study researchers will try to discover the genes that make people susceptible to anorexia nervosa. Researchers are recruiting families with two or more members who have or have had anorexia nervosa.

    Canadian Contacts
    The National Institute of Mental Health is sponsoring a multicenter, international study seeking to determine whether a gene or genes might predispose individuals to develop anorexia nervosa. They need families with at least two relatives (e.g., sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents) who have or had anorexia nervosa, and who would be willing to participate. The study involves the completion of interviews, questionnaires and a blood draw. Participants do not need to travel and will be paid for all out of pocket expenses. For more information call 416-340-5388, email or visit the website at htp://

    Note: there are other contacts in the US, etc. Please contact the email address above for more information.

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  3. #2

    Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

    I do think there is a relation to genetics with this type of disorder. Just reading this and thinking about several family members--I find it to be true.
    Both of my sisters have and are struggling with this as well. My oldest has gone down past 100lbs and has been very ill. She has damaged her body and we have all watched her starve at times. But she won't let us help her (and trust me, we have desperately tried). My other sister has struggled with bulimia. Last time I saw her she had lost so much weight she looked horrible. Her bones stuck out every where. And after meals, she would disappear.

    There are many others like this in our family. I do think that some of this has to do with our up-bringing. My father was so hard on us. We could never be what he wanted. He called us names even when we could not lose anymore weight as we were sickly looking already. And God forbid when we gained some. But this runs back further than this.


  4. Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

    Im really glad they are doing a serious study on eating disorders. If in fact it is gene related could it be possible to find a way, like a medication that can help prevent eating disorders or stop them? I mean I know that sounds far fetched but an eating disorder is a mental disorder of the brain where the person does not see themselves as they really are. So one day in the far off future it could be possible for a medication to help the brain see what its suppose to see. Anyway, Im just saying Im glad the world is taking eating disorders more seriously now and looking into ways they are developed so one day they can find a way to help people through them even more and prevent deaths and serious illnesses.

  5. #4

    Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

    I find the idea of eating disorders being genetic very interesting. There have been a few incidents in my family. I developed anorexia at about 20 years of age. I don't know if my aunt would have actually been labeled anorexic, but I guess for a while in high school and college she went on what they labeled then a "crash diet". I don't know how much anorexia was recognized at that time. Maybe it was kind of during the whole Twiggy craze or something. Anyway, she's fine now. She never had treatment of any sort, and was able to deal with it on her own, but she admits to having had problems with eating and body image.
    Then, there's my cousin. I can tell that she's been struggling with weight and eating issues for a while now. She's never been diagnosed with anything, but weight is definitely a big concern for her. The last time I saw her she looked like a different person (quite thin).
    This is all on my mom's side of the family. Now, I realize that it's a very big family, with my mom having 8 siblings. So, maybe it's just coincidence, but interesting nevertheless.

  6. #5

    Research on Genes and Eating Disorders

    aniston- some treatment of ed's do include medication, I'm sure you could look up some info on specifics if you wanted to. But for one, ie. treating depression and OCD in relation to an ed for one can help, so this is one area where meds have been used.

    I wish I wouldn't have anything to say about this, but as you guys have said too, if I think about it- and am honest- yes, there's issues w/ food in my family too... for one my sister has weight issues (various reasons for this) but it's almost overlooked... then my mom has her struggles w/ body image and how she used to look compared to now (mind you, the way she used to be wasn't really the healthiest way to be like "that" either) and then my aunt has issues too... ie. saying she won't eat meals w/ us when she's here but then snacking on candy etc all the time. how much of this is society or other disorders or just being controlling? I don't know. But it's pretty obvious many disorders have some kind of genetic component, and ed's don't seem to be too far off....sadly.

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