Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Obesity is often an inherited condition. Many of those who are living with obesity also experience mental health concerns or illnesses.
Researchers around the world are trying to understand the underlying factors for why these conditions often go hand-in-hand.
Dr. Satya Dash, scientist at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI), is using genetic analysis to explore the association between obesity and a variety of mental illnesses.
To do this, Dr. Dash and his team conducted genetic analyses in 149 individuals that were referred to weight loss surgery at UHN. About 80 per cent of these individuals had experienced mental health concerns.
The team found that some rare genetic changes, which were previously associated with conditions such as bipolar disease, schizophrenia and autism, were more common in these individuals.
To confirm that the identified genetic changes were associated with both obesity and mental illnesses, Dr. Dash, in collaboration with Drs. Rachel Batterham and Ingrid Dahlman, compared his results with those from genetic studies of obese patients in the United Kingdom and Sweden.
"We compared our data with these studies because they excluded those with either any mental illness or those with severe mental illness," says Dr. Dash. "We did this so that we could see whether exclusion of individuals with mental illness affected the occurrence of genetic changes that we identified."
As expected, the study that excluded severe mental illness had less of the identified genetic changes, and the study that excluded all mental illness did not have any of the genetic changes.
These results support the idea that rare genetic changes identified by Dr. Dash's team may contribute to both conditions.
"I hope that these findings help remove some of the stigma associated with living with obesity and mental health concerns, which have a strong genetic basis," Dr. Dash says.
"The next step will be to translate these findings into effective treatments for patients affected by extreme obesity and mental illness."
This work was supported by Diabetes Canada, the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre, the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, the National Institute for Health Research (UK) and the Rosetrees Trust. A Bassett holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Schizophrenia Genetics and Genomic Disorders.