Genetic Bases of Eating Disorders
NIH (R21) funded research on genetics
The goal of the study is to understand the genetic etiology of eating disorders and related behaviors and symptoms. Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorders are heritable complex disorders. Genetic studies have mostly advanced on understanding the genetic causes of anorexia nervosa and the latest and largest (72,500 people) study shows that anorexia nervosa is related to anthropometric measures including BMI on a genetic level. In this study we further our understanding of this relationship by investigating whether genetic variants that underlie other psychiatric disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and genetic variants that underlie anthropometric measures (i.e., BMI, waist circumference, etc.) together can give us a better understanding of eating disorders and their associated behaviors and symptoms. We try to answer these questions in a sample of children and adolescents from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children using longitudinal models.