Thursday, April 14, 2016

Anorexia: genetic and environmental risk factors uncovered


Researchers suspected that anorexia is raised by the combination of genetic, biological, psychological and sociocultural variables. The team of scientists from Columbia University Medical Center, exposed the adolescent mice to one copy of the BDNF gene variant which is linked to anorexia and anxiety in both mice and humans. The mice with this gene when exposed in a group with controlled(normal) mice they were more likely to avoid eating than other mice. There was a difference in adult mice tho that even with the gene it did not affect them. Since this procedure was done with mice rather than humans, many researchers note that there is question to fully capture the real reason for anorexia. These researchers are trying to find new ways to investigate the signaling pathways in the brain that signal this behavior in hopes to find a therapeutic target. 

I found this article very interesting, as to how many diseases we think are socially can very be in us genetically. Many disorders and social traits that we think are from peer pressure, may just be a certain gene that is being triggered. Many diseases and problems go unnoticed or we are not able to treat them since we are still learning about our own bodies till this day. 

1 comment:

  1. It does make a lot of sense that anorexia is influenced by both genetic and social factors. If only social factors caused the disease than more people would probably be affected.