Exploration of large, rare copy number variants associated with psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders in individuals with anorexia nervosa

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Abstract

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious and heritable psychiatric disorder. To date, studies of copy number variants (CNVs) have been limited and inconclusive because of small sample sizes. We conducted a case-only genome-wide CNV survey in 1983 female AN cases included in the Genetic Consortium for Anorexia Nervosa. Following stringent quality control procedures, we investigated whether pathogenic CNVs in regions previously implicated in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders were present in AN cases. We observed two instances of the well-established pathogenic CNVs in AN cases. In addition, one case had a deletion in the 13q12 region, overlapping with a deletion reported previously in two AN cases. As a secondary aim, we also examined our sample for CNVs over 1 Mbp in size. Out of the 40 instances of such large CNVs that were not implicated previously for AN or neuropsychiatric phenotypes, two of them contained genes with previous neuropsychiatric associations, and only five of them had no associated reports in public CNV databases. Although ours is the largest study of its kind in AN, larger datasets are needed to comprehensively assess the role of CNVs in the etiology of AN.

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