Researchers find evidence of genetic susceptibility

contributed to AN and, through additional research, we hope to eventually be able to identify them, said Walter H. Kaye, M.D. professor of psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and principal investigator for the collaborative study.

Dr. Grice and Wade Berrettini, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior and professor of psychiatry at Penn's medical school, using blood samples collected by the collaborative study, performed an allele-sharing linkage strategy to identify loci (locations on chromosomes) that may contribute to AN.

Analysis of the initial sample of 192 families with at least one affected relative pair with AN or other related eating disorders including bulimia nervosa resulted in only modest evidence for linkage. To increase the ability to detect linkage, the researchers narrowed the linkage analysis to include only those families in which at least two relatives had diagnoses of restricting anorexia nervosa (RAN), a clinically defined subtype of AN characterized by severe limitation of food intake without the presence of binge-eating or purging.

When we narrowed the sample to relatives who had the same form of AN, the linkage analysis pointed to marker D1S3721 on chromosome 1p, and additional genotyping provided evidence for the AN-susceptibility gene on chromosome 1p, said Dr. Berrettini.

Currently, these collaborative researchers are looking for people with restricting-type AN who also have two parents who are willing to participate in research studies to identify genetic bases for eating disorders. Please see http://www.anbn.org for more information. All information is kept strictly confidential.


Contact: Craig Dunhoff
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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