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Abstract

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious mental illness categorized by a failure to maintain a minimally normal weight, a fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, and preoccupations about body shape or weight. AN is associated with significant morbidity and a mortality rate as high as that seen in any psychiatric illness. Biological factors, including genetic predisposition, appear to play a role in the development of AN. Treatment is challenging both because interventions with clear empirical support have not been identified and because individuals affected by AN are typically reluctant to undergo weight restoration. Preliminary studies suggest that family-based treatment may be useful for younger patients with AN. Treatment development for adults with AN and pursuit of neurobiological correlates of AN remain high-priority research areas.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.med.050208.200745
2010-02-18
2024-06-18
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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