Anorexia Nervosa Essay

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1. Introduction Anorexia nervosa (AN) is one of the most rare and complex psychiatry disorders that is characterized by low body weight and insistent fear of weight gain (American Psychiatric Association, 2013 Sociocultural issues have been linked to the aetiology of AN, however, that view has been challenged by research in genetics (Bulik, Slof-Op't Landt, Van Furth & Sullivan, 2007). The aim of this essay would be to critically discuss AN focusing on its background, aetiological factors looking at genetics perspective (family studies, twin studies, human molecular studies such as genome wide linkage studies and association studies). Diagnostic and treatment issues for the disorder will also be discussed. 2. Background Anorexia Nervosa means…show more content…
While family and twin studies have presented that genetics surely plays a large role in the development of eating disorders, in particular AN, they do not make it clear as to what specific genes and gene variants (alleles) contribute to its development (Bulik et al. 2007). Human molecular genetic studies, such as genome-wide linkage studies and association studies have endeavoured to find genes that are responsible for increasing the vulnerability to AN. Genome-wide linkage studies identify areas of the genome that may contain genes that are involved in human diseases-which may decrease or increase the risk of getting the disease .These studies are done without any prior assumptions about specific genes (Kaye et al. 2008). Bulik et al. (2007) review some findings of studies with large sample groups in order to lessen the possibility of false positives because of the random chance. Overall, chromosome 1 shows linkage with restricting-subtype of AN; while measures of drive for thinness and obsession increases the linkage to chromosomes 2 and 13. Kaye et al. (2008) admits that the findings in genome-wide linkage studies are intriguing but require confirmation before substantial time; also, money to identify critical genetic variation in the linkage regions needs to be
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