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Anorexia Nervosa

David Collier, Cynthia M Bulik

Janet Treasure, Cathryn Lewis, Ulrike Schmidt, Kirsty Kiezebrink, Allan S Kaplan, Patrick F Sullivan, James Hudson, Kelly Klump, Martien Kas, Eric van Furth, Margarita CT Slof-Op't Landt, Roger Adan, Andreas Karwautz, Philip Gorwood, Xavier Estivill, Mònica Gratacòs, Fernando Fernandez-Aranda, Josep M Mercader, Palmiero Monteleone, Federica Tozzi, Anna Keski-Rahkonen, Jaakko Kaprio, Anu Raevuori, Filip Rybakowski, Johannes Hebebrand, Anke Hinney, Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud, Gun Peggy Knudsen.

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric disorder marked by dangerously low body weight, fear of weight gain, and seeming indifference to the seriousness of the illness. AN is devastating for sufferers and family members. AN affects ~1% of the population, is tenfold more common in females, is associated with many medical and psychological problems, and has one of the highest death rates of any psychiatric disorder. Our understanding of AN has matured beyond outdated theories that focused solely on cultural thinness ideals, or family behaviours as causal, to an appreciation of the role of adverse life events, and genetic inheritance in its aetiology. The next critical step is to identify "risk" genes which underlie the illness. Other studies highlight particular areas in the genome that may increase risk of AN, but these studies are too small to be definitive. We created an international consortium in order to achieve collectively what has not been possible with individual studies. Through our collaboration, 8030 individuals donated DNA (4015 individuals with AN and 4015 healthy controls). We seek support for a modern genetic study of AN (GWAS) in this group. Identifying risk genes is the critical next step towards developing better treatments for AN.