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lolfuys OP t1_j2ektk9 wrote

Interesting to say the least.

> Here we studied the role of the serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) in weight regulation and behavior. Using exome sequencing of 2,548 people with severe obesity and 1,117 control individuals without obesity, we identified 13 rare variants in the gene encoding 5-HT2CR (HTR2C) in 19 unrelated people (3 males and 16 females). Eleven variants caused a loss of function in HEK293 cells. All people who carried variants had hyperphagia and some degree of maladaptive behavior.

The gene variant seems to be associated with loss of function with serotonin receptors. These people are most likely maladaptively coping to help their lack of serotonin.


F1grid t1_j2elc7r wrote

Why this matters: Serotonin is a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in the brain and throughout your body. Serotonin plays a key role in such body functions as mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting and sexual desire.


FOlahey t1_j2eow4w wrote

Modulating serotonin will also drastically change a person’s experience. For example, SSRIs block the reuptake of serotonin which can lead to diminished self-talk. Likewise, serotonin agonists can help people empathize with others in a context more absent their primary ego.


-domi- t1_j2epajf wrote

What does maladaptive mean in this context?


hikahia t1_j2esgei wrote

From the study:

>longitudinal follow-up of patients revealed a wide spectrum of maladaptive behaviors that started in childhood, including emotional lability (frequent outbursts of crying and/or aggressive behavior in the absence of obvious triggers) and maladaptive behavior, particularly in social settings (Table 1).

Other maladaptave behaviors I got from a google search:


  • not making eye contact during conversation
  • speaking too softly or not at all
  • not asking questions when you need more information
  • avoiding social interaction

Self Harm

  • cutting, scratching, or burning skin
  • picking at scabs or wounds
  • pulling out hair, eyelashes, or eyebrows
  • self-hitting or banging your head
  • refusal to take needed medications


  • temper tantrums
  • other violent behavior

Substance Abuse

  • alcohol
  • prescribed drugs
  • illegal drugs

Maladaptive daydreaming

  • engaging in extensive fantasy in place of human interaction or participation in real life.
  • daydreams that can last hours at a time and involve intricate plots and characters that keep you going back.

Sexually Maladaptive behavior

  • having unprotected sex in a situation that calls for protection
  • sexual aggression
  • doing things you don’t really want to do
  • putting yourself in unsafe situations

OneHumanPeOple t1_j2fuuux wrote

I’m really disappointed that there is such a thing as “maladaptive daydreaming.” I see that as a problem with society and not the daydreamer. DAYDREAMERS RIGHTS! TO YOUR PARACOSMOS EVERYONE!!


GwenTheHuman t1_j2fvpc5 wrote

It’s called maladaptive because it interferes with the ability to function. Just because it sounds like no big deal at surface level doesn’t mean it isn’t serious and debilitating.


ozzalot t1_j2esqgw wrote

Its a mix of conditions/behaviors recognized in individuals with variants in this receptor, examples: "labile emotion", learning disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD, personality disorder, volatile behavior, etc., Table 1 right most column


whatchamacallit4321 t1_j2f0fcb wrote

Can someone explain the implications of this study? I’m confused. Is it saying ssri’s cause these issues or that serotonin disorders prior to medication can cause these issues?


tornpentacle t1_j2f3qa7 wrote

The latter. This is a genetic mutation causing poor function.


Jetztinberlin t1_j2ezy4n wrote

Connection to obesity presumably relating to a) serotonin production in the gut and / or b) gut-brain axis?


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JohnnnyOnTheSpot t1_j2f7re8 wrote

Really shows how extremely rare genetic contributors of obesity are


wolpertingersunite t1_j2fdmjf wrote

I'm not sure about that. I think any particular, well-studied variant is rare. There may be lots and lots of different, poorly understood variants that perhaps act in combination. That kind of thing is hard to parse out.

I mean, based on what we see in the US, you could argue that about 73% of people have genetic predisposition to overweight or obesity in a modern obesogenic environment. We just can't point to specific individual linchpin genes for most of them.


JohnnnyOnTheSpot t1_j2fem72 wrote

Lots of gene variant studies don’t actually perform the functional genomics we see in the study here to confirm if they’re pathogenic or not.

Unfortunately with how science is performed, studying variants can take time and they likely only publish data if the functional genomic experiments are fruitful rather than negative or undetermined.

Luckily, new screening methods that can evaluate thousands of variants concurrently are being developed, they just need to be applied to this area of research and we’ll gather so much more data.


Grinagh t1_j2eqfe3 wrote

I feel like this is yet another reason SSRI's are bad


tornpentacle t1_j2f3n32 wrote

This is a genetic trait, not the result of SSRIs. SSRIs might actually treat this for a large number of affected people.