Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Biomedical Science

First Advisor

Chandrashekhar Patel

Abstract

Across the world, the prevalence of obesity is increasing and has now reached a level deemed an epidemic. Obesity is a major public health concern as it is associated with much comorbidity including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The development of obesity is a result of many different factors, all of which have a base in genetics and can be inherited through generations. Among these factors are eight cell-signaling molecules (adiponectin, leptin, resistin, tumor necrosis factor alpha, plasminogen activator inhibitor one, interleukin six, insulin, and oxytocin) involved in pathways that affect metabolism. Behaviors like hyperphagia and exercise are important aspects of both the development and treatment of the disease. All of these factors contribute to the increase prevalence of obesity, which current treatments have not been able to adequately address. The understanding of all of these factors, including their genetic origin, could be applied in the future to help address the obesity epidemic. Using an individual's unique genetic make-up, doctors could formulate more personalized, successful treatment plans to overcome each individual's challenges when battling obesity.

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