Study tests links to other disorders.

Genes linked to psychiatric disorders and control of the body’s sugar and fat stores have been tied to anorexia in the largest ever study of the genetics of the devastating eating disorder.

The study looked at the genomes of nearly 17,000 people of European ancestry with anorexia, which has the highest death rate of any mental illness. It compared their genetic makeup to more than 55,000 people without the disorder.

Led by Cynthia Bulik, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US, the researchers discovered eight genetic locations associated with the disease, some with links to over 100 genes expressed in the brain.

“Genes associated with anorexia nervosa were enriched for expression in most brain tissues,” the authors write.

The vast genetic database allowed the researchers to test whether a genetic signature of anorexia overlapped with those of other psychological disorders or metabolic changes.

Read the full article in Cosmos magazine here