Search For A Cure
Scientific Breakthroughs & Caregiver Tips
Is Anorexia Nervosa Hereditary?
New understanding of the role of genetics in eating disorders is bringing hope to the families of people who are diagnosed with life-threatening anorexia nervosa.
For decades, anorexia nervosa was considered to be the direct result of family stress and peer pressure. In the popular imagination, rIsk factors for anorexia nervosa include being young, female, and having an overachieving personality and dysfunctional family dynamics. Today, doctors understand that eating disorders occur in all types of families.
Research suggests that genetic factors influence who is vulnerable to the disorder. Although experts think 50-80% of cases result from genetics, no specific gene has yet been linked to the disorder.
While anorexia nervosa tends to run in families, the disorder results from multiple factors. Studies of genes at the molecular level have not pinpointed any DNA variants that directly cause anorexia nervosa. However, a recent gene sequencing study at the University of Iowa identified previously unobserved and ultra-rare mutations that appear to influence anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders. Scientists think the disorder may result from a genetic predisposition, triggered by life events and family environment.
Angela Guarda, MD
Angela Guarda, MD is the Stephen and Jean Robinson Associate Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at…Read More…
It is impossible to recover from Anorexia unless you reach a minimal normal weight.
– Angela Guarda, MD
Make a Donation, Make a Difference
Your Donation Supports Crucial Brain Research
We have a direct connection with scientists so we are privy to projects in all stages of research. This gives us the insight to identify projects and allocate the dollars needed to find cures. Donate generously today to make a difference for future generations and your loved ones.
YOUR DONATION SAVES LIVES & BRINGS US CLOSER TO A CURE.
You Are Not Alone
For you or a loved one to be diagnosed with a brain disease or disorder, is overwhelming, and it leads to a quest for support and answers to very important questions. ABS has built a safe, caring and compassionate community for you to share your journey, connect with others in similar situations, learn about breakthroughs, and to simply find comfort.