The Importance of Genetics in Eating Disorders – Terms to Know

Terms You Need to Know

Case: Individuals who have had the disorder being studied

Control: Individuals who have never had the disorder being studied

Genetics: A special branch of biology that describes how genes control characteristics and behaviors in plants, animals, and humans that are passed down from generation to generation

Genetic marker: A specific place in the genome that is examined for its association with the disorder being studied

Genome: A plant’s, animal’s, or human’s complete set of genetic information, including all of its genes

Genome-wide association study (GWAS): Using information from the entire genome, examines whether any genetic markers are more common among cases than controls

Heritability: Cumulative effect of genes that contribute to the development of the disorder being studied