Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pitt, VCU researchers find genetic link to bulimia nervosa

12.12.2002


A team of researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have linked an area of chromosome 10p to families with a history of bulimia nervosa, providing strong evidence that genes play a determining role in who is susceptible to developing the eating disorder.



The finding, gleaned from blood studies of 316 patients with bulimia and their family members, is the result of the first multinational collaborative genome-wide linkage scan to look exclusively at bulimia. Earlier this year, another linkage scan found evidence of genes for the eating disorder anorexia nervosa on chromosome 1.

This study, led by Walter H. Kaye, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), and authored by Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., a professor in VCU’s Department of Psychiatry and a researcher at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics in Richmond, VA, appears today in the online edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics. It will be published in the Jan. 1, 2003 print edition.


Bulimia is a psychiatric disorder characterized by episodes of binge-eating (eating unusually large amounts of food in a short time and feeling out of control), compensatory behavior such as self-induced vomiting and laxative abuse and over-concern about body shape and weight.

The results build upon the authors’ prior research involving twins with bulimia in which they found the first evidence of bulimia’s heritability.

"This linkage study takes the twin studies one step further and informs us where to start looking in the genome for genes that may influence bulimia nervosa," said Dr. Bulik.

"Studies such as this one should help us understand how differences in the genes of some individuals contribute to this illness," said Dr. Kaye. "Identifying this region on 10p is an important step in what may be a long search for more effective treatments and preventative therapies for bulimia."

"Despite progress in understanding the biological and genetic underpinnings of eating disorders, the perception remains that these are self-imposed and socio-culturally caused disorders," said Dr. Bulik. "Our twin research has been showing that bulimia nervosa is hereditary, but the human genome is huge, and it will take many years of this type of research to narrow down our search for these genes."

The research was funded by the Price Foundation, a private, European-based foundation that, for more than a decade, has supported Drs. Bulik and Kaye and a group of collaborators at 10 locations in North America and Europe. Over the past several years, this group of researchers, under the principal direction of Dr. Kaye, has been successful at recruiting study participants. In the past two years, it has made tremendous progress in the search for genetic clues to eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia nervosa. In October, Dr. Kaye announced that the National Institute of Mental Health had awarded the group a five-year, $10-million grant to study anorexia, the first time the government has funded genetic research of eating disorders.


The other researchers include Bernie Devlin, Silviu-Alin Bacanu and Laura Thornton, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Kelly L. Klump, Department of Psychiatry, Michigan State University; Manfred M. Fichter, Roseneck Hospital for Behavioural Medicine, University of Munich; Katherine A. Halmi, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Allan S. Kaplan and D. Blake Woodside, Program for Eating Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University Health Network, Toronto General Hospital; Michael Strober, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles; Andrew W. Bergen, Core Genotyping Facility, Advanced Technology Center, National Cancer Institute; Kelly Ganjei, Biognosis, U.S., Inc.; Scott Crow, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota; James Mitchell, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute; Alessandro Rotondo, Mauro Mauri and Giovanni Cassano, Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnologies, University of Pisa; Pamela Keel, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard University; and Wade H. Berrettini, Center of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of Pennsylvania.

About VCU: Virginia Commonwealth University is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as one of the nation’s top research universities. Located on two campuses in Richmond, VA, VCU enrolls 26,000 students in more than 160 undergraduate, graduate, professional, doctoral and post-graduate certificate degree programs at 11 schools and one college. Sixteen graduate and professional programs have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best of their kind in the nation. The VCU Health System is one of the leading academic medical centers in the country. The Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics is a multi-disciplined, integrated research program of VCU’s departments of psychiatry and human genetics, focused on identifying genes and environments that cause psychiatric diseases and behavioral differences. See http://www.vipbg.vcu.edu/.

About WPIC: The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic is one of the nation’s foremost university-based psychiatric hospitals and one of the world’s largest centers for research and treatment of affective disorders. The university’s Department of Psychiatry is the nation’s largest recipient of National Institutes of Health funding for psychiatric research. WPIC is known worldwide for its research and treatment programs in depression, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia and other mental health problems. See http://www.upmc.com.

CONTACT: Craig Dunhoff, UPMC News Bureau
PHONE: (412) 647-3555
E-MAIL: DunhoffCC@upmc.edu

CONTACT: Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics
PHONE: (804) 828-8133
E-MAIL: cbulik@hsc.vcu.edu

CONTACT: Lorraine Cichowski, VCU News Services
PHONE: (804) 828-1231
E-MAIL: lcichowski@vcu.edu


Craig Dunhoff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vipbg.vcu.edu/
http://www.upmc.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Chances to treat childhood dementia
24.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>