For the first time, a team of researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia may have uncovered the first biomarker for the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.
The findings were published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.
According to researchers, a type of atypical eye movement known as square wave jerks, coupled with anxiety, might distinguish patients with anorexia from individuals without an eating disorder.
The findings, entailing data from 80 female participants with anorexia, suggest a biomarker and endophenotype for the eating condition.
“Square wave jerk rate was acquired during a fixation task, and anxiety was measured with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory,” the findings state.
“The combination of square wave jerk rate and anxiety was found to be a promising two-element marker for anorexia nervosa, and has the potential to be used as a biomarker or endophenotype to identify people at risk of anorexia nervosa and inform future treatments,” researchers concluded.