Trending Clinical Topics for July 2019

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

July 26, 2019

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (July 20-26): Anorexia

A new study that may fundamentally reshape the understanding of the disease's origin, as well as news about treatment-related issues, helped make anorexia this week's top trending clinical topic. A genome-wide association study, published in Nature Genetics , compared the DNA of nearly 17,000 patients with anorexia against that of more than 55,000 individuals without the disease. Results in those with anorexia showed mutations that are present in other psychiatric conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia. However, researchers also found mutations related to the metabolism of blood sugar levels and body fat.

This suggests that not only does anorexia have genetic associations, but it may initially begin as a disorder of rapid metabolism. Experts suggest that not only does this have the potential to shift the entire paradigm of anorexia care, but it may also help address the ongoing stigma associated with the condition.

Unfortunately, not all news related to anorexia was as encouraging. A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that low-dose testosterone therapy does not lead to sustained improvements in depression, anxiety, or disordered eating in women with anorexia. After 24 weeks, the use of a transdermal testosterone patch did not lower depression or anxiety scores compared with placebo.

Meanwhile, experts at a session held at a UK conference suggested that the key to successful treatment is emotional support in specific groups, such as patients who have anorexia and type 2 diabetes. They argued that emotional health is crucial to tackling eating disorders among patients with diabetes.

From a possible major shift in the understanding of disease development to important treatment approaches, a wide variety of news helped make anorexia the top trending clinical topic this week.

Read more about anorexia.

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