Study Finds At Least 79 Genetic Syndromes Can Cause Obesity; What Is Monogenic Obesity?

By Jeff Thompson - 28 Mar '17 17:18PM

It was previously reported that two dozen genetic disorders cause obesity. The latest study confirms that the number is not just limited to that, and it can be at least 79 syndromes. A group of Canadian researchers found that at least 79 genetic disorders have the symptoms of obesity, and the findings are published in the journal Obesity Reviews.

Though there are not many cases of genetic disorders that cause obesity, scientists think the report is useful for people who are obese not from genetic issues. If people know the gene and its functions, then they find which of the mechanism become defective, further explained by David Meyre, the lead of the study and an associate professor at School of Medicine - McMaster University, Ontario. These genetic forms can be later applied to non-genetic obesity, he said.

The study team focused on monogenic obesity, which has only one mutation. Interestingly, the monogenic form of obesity is very rare, and only 0.1% Canadian obese population is exhibiting this syndrome. According to the Statistics Canada, 20 percent of the Canadian population are obese, while one in every three in the U.S. are found to be obese per reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meyre and his colleagues continued the search in seven databases and as many as 161 papers which ultimately found the 79 obesity syndromes.

Monogenic obesity not only causes obesity but also causes heart malformation, kidney disease, mental disability. Out of the 79 disorders, 19 is completely mapped and easily identified in a simple lab test, 11 are partially clarified, 27 had been mapped to the chromosome, and the last 22 not yet identified and not even the location in chromosomes. Meyre says many of the symptoms can be cured up to an extent by using specific hormones. He also reminds that if genetics worked with these symptoms, then the researchers would find treatment options easily.

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