Genetic Forms of Obesity Are Rare Yet Numerous

Genetic Forms of Obesity Are Rare Yet Numerous

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While scientists have been aware of about two dozen genetic conditions that can cause obesity, a new study published in the journal Obesity Reviews finds there are many more. Canadian investigators have identified and cataloged 79 rare genetic syndromes where obesity is a key symptom. Researchers say their work will be helpful to the millions worldwide who have lost control of their weight for reasons other than genetics. The researchers analyzed 161 papers and found 79 obesity syndromes reported in the scientific literature. Of the 79 syndromes identified, 19 had the genetics worked out completely so that a simple lab test would be able to confirm the condition. Another 11 had been partially clarified, while 27 had been mapped to a chromosomal region. For the remaining 22 syndromes, researchers had not yet identified the genes or location along the chromosomes. “If you know the gene and the function of the gene, then you know which biological mechanism is defective,” said the senior author of the study This knowledge of obesity genetics, then, can be applied to more common forms of the condition, he added.