ANGI-Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

Anorexia nervosa UNC research

 

ANGI Logo

The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) is the largest and most rigorous genetic investigation of eating disorders ever conducted. Researchers in the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark will collect clinical information and blood samples from over 8,000 individuals with anorexia nervosa and individuals without an eating disorder.

ANGI represents a global effort to detect genetic variation that contributes to this potentially life-threatening illness. The goal of the research study is to transform our knowledge about the causes of eating disorders to work toward greater understanding and ultimately a cure.

If you have suffered from anorexia nervosa at any point in your life, you can help us achieve this goal. Your contribution would include a brief 30-minute interview and a blood sample. If you have never had anorexia nervosa, but still want to contribute, we invite your participation as well.

Only with your participation can we achieve our goal of eliminating this devastating illness.

Participants receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

To see if ANGI would be a good fit for you, please complete the survey found here.  

For more information, please call 919-966-3065 or email angi@unc.edu.

 

Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative: An Update

A little over a year ago we began recruiting participants for the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI). For those who haven’t heard, ANGI is a multi-national research study designed to discover the genetic factors that contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa (AN). We have sites in Denmark, Sweden, Australia, and here at UNC.

What has happened in the year since the launch has exceeded our wildest expectations. Our original goal for the UNC site was to have 120 blood samples collected by May 1st of 2014 and 500 by the end of recruitment in July, 2016. In May, we reported a total of 341 samples collected, almost tripling the original goal! Because we’ve received such an enthusiastic response, we have increased our final goal for UNC from 500 to 1500 from people with a history of AN and 1500 from people who never had an eating disorder.

The world over, we’ve already collected more than 2,500 samples! Thanks to the community and our participants – without whom none of this would be possible – we’ve raised the study-wide recruitment goal from 8,000 participants (with a history of AN) to 13,000.

In order to meet these new goals, we’ve augmented our recruitment efforts. At launch, we were only able to recruit women and girls for the study. After receiving comments from men in the community and from mothers of boys with AN, we made the case for including males in ANGI. Our argument was well-received. Since then, our doors have opened to men and boys who would like to participate. We have posted flyers all over UNC’s campus and throughout the greater Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. We have filmed brief commercials and put out press releases. Various conferences have requested materials to share with their attendees. We’ve even brought in people with CraigsList ads. Finally, Charlotte’s Helix has also joined the cause, in honor of the eating disorder advocacy work of Charlotte Bevan. Charlotte’s Helix, a collaboration of friends, family, organizations, and institutions all with ties to Charlotte, has set a goal of bringing in at least 1,000 DNA samples from the UK to be included in anorexia genetics research.

Even with all these avenues, we know that we have not yet reached thousands of individuals who have suffered from AN at any point in their life who would like to donate their samples to help stop this crushing disorder. If you would like to join the effort to crack the genetic code of AN, don’t hesitate to contact us or take the eligibility survey directly to find out if you’re eligible.

Here’s to three more years of successful recruitment! Remember, our global goal is 25,000 samples by 2016!

If you or someone you know has suffered from AN or has never had an eating disorder and are in the United States, please visit our website at www.unceatingdisorders.org/angi, call us at 919-966-3065, or email us at angi@unc.edu.

If you are in Australia, visit https://angi.qimr.edu.au, or Freecall 1-800-257-179, or email angi@qimrberghofer.edu.au

If you are in the UK, we encourage you to visit https://www.charlotteshelix.net/ or email info@charlotteshelix.net  to participate in a similar research effort.

For a more detailed description of the study, please see our blog post on the study launch.

The ANGI Team and I wanted to express a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been involved in our study thus far, whether it be through participating in the study or passing on the word. We could not do it without all of you! We are deeply grateful for your interest and participation. Please continue to browse our blog, website, and Facebook page for further updates on the status of ANGI!

Previous Updates:

ANGI Invites Males to Participate

ANGI update July 2013