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Keywords:

  • genetics;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • linkage studies;
  • serotonin

Abstract

Recent research on anorexia nervosa (AN) has focused on examining the genetic underpinnings of its etiology. The current article reviews molecular genetic studies that have focused on this aspect of AN development. Medline and PsychInfo literature searches, in addition to close inspection of study reference sections, were used to identify studies that examined the genetic diathesis for AN. Findings from association studies indicate some role for the serotonin system in the development of AN. Genomic regions on chromosomes 1 and 10 are also likely to harbor susceptibility genes for AN as well as a range of eating pathologies. Findings corroborate those of neurobiologic studies suggesting that alterations in serotonergic functioning may contribute to the pathogenesis of AN. Nonetheless, future molecular genetic research would benefit from larger and more sustained investigations of candidate genes in homogeneous phenotypes. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.