ANGI-Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

ANGI-Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative

 

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. If you have never had an eating disorder, but still want to contribute, we invite your participation as well. Your contribution would include a brief 30-minute questionnaire and a blood sample. To make participation easy, we are working with a mobile phlebotomy company that can come to your home, or location of your choice, anywhere in the country, to draw your blood and ship it at back to us at no cost to you

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

Participants receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Participate Now!

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

 

Read about the progress of ANGI below.

Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative: Spring 2015 Update

ANGI’s New Year’s resolution is to continue recruitment and reach a record number of people in 2015. Now that we are just over the half way point in recruitment, we need more help than ever! 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. We are recruiting men and women who have a past or current history of AN, as well as people with no history of an eating disorder.

We continue to be amazed by the tremendous amount of support we have received from around the country, and by the number of people interested in this groundbreaking study.  Our original goal for the UNC site was to have 120 blood samples collected by May 1, 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 recruitment goal for UNC to 1,500 people with a history of AN. The world over, we’ve already collected almost 7,000 samples! Thanks to the community and our participants – without whom none of this would be possible – we’ve raised the world-wide recruitment goal from 8,000 participants (with a history of AN) to 13,000.

However, we know that we have not yet reached thousands of individuals who have suffered from AN who may wish to participate in ANGI and donate a blood sample in order 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 two more years of successful recruitment!

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, free call 1-800-257-179, or email angi@qimrberghofer.edu.au

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 blogwebsite, and Facebook page for further updates on the status of ANGI!

ANGI One Year 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!

Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative Invites Males to Participate

Published: March 27, 2014

At the beginning of the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI), we were initially only able to invite women and girls who had suffered from anorexia at any point in their lives to be part of this research study. We, the researchers, weren’t happy with this, nor were some members of the community. I received many comments from men who had had anorexia and from mothers of boys with anorexia who very much wanted to participate. Some were even a little humorous, like “When are you going to do MANGI?” But all were very well conceived and in line with what we as researchers hoped to do—namely include males. I found myself telling far to many people to bear with us, that we had to start somewhere, and I promised that we would get to the point of collecting samples and clinical information from men and boys too.

So we prepared our case as to why including men and boys in this research study is important and we had a strong argument. First, men and boys are underrepresented in research on anorexia nervosa and we didn’t want to contribute to that trend. Second, some data suggest that family psychiatric history is even stronger in males with anorexia, which could possibly suggest that a greater genetic loading might be necessary for expression of the disorder in males. If that were the case, then involving males might make detection of genetic variants that contribute to the disorder easier, provided the genetic influences on the disorder are the same in males and females, and there is no reason to believe that they are not. Third, males are actively asking if they can participate, meaning that just like their female counterparts, they are keen to contribute to our research to decode this illness.

Apparently our argument was convincing! I am overjoyed to announce that we are now cleared to open our invitation to participate in ANGI to men and boys who have suffered from anorexia nervosa at any time in their life!

Participation in this research study is straightforward and includes completing a questionnaire and providing a blood sample. Each country has step-by-step instructions to make your experience as streamlined as possible. I am so pleased to be able to invite all of you, males and females to help us unlock the biology of anorexia nervosa with the ultimate aim of reducing suffering and hopefully, someday, eradicating this devastating illness.

So if you or someone you know has suffered from anorexia at any point and you are it the United States, please visit our website or give us a call at 919-966-3065 or email us at angi@unc.edu.

If you happen to be in Australia visit https://angi.qimr.edu.au or freecall 1 800 257 179 or email angi@qimr.edu.au

If you are in the UK, we encourage you to visit Charlotte’s Helix or call 0207 8485381 or Freephone 0800 9951999

Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative: 2 Month Update

We posted a blog almost exactly two months ago to announce the launch of our Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) research study. Our research team has been surprised by the remarkable response we have had to our study… even though it’s only been two months since our launch! After the soft announcement that ANGI was going to start recruiting, several important and popular eating disorder blogs posted about ANGI, including edbites.com, science of eds, and the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). After the postings on each of these blogs, we received an amazing response from individuals who were interested in participating in our study. What we have found most intriguing in talking to these individuals is the specific interest in the genetic underpinnings of anorexia nervosa (AN). There is excitement around the fact that our mission is to detect the specific genetic factors involved in risk for AN. We are hearing participants say, “If my contribution can stop one person from suffering from AN, I’m dedicated to being involved in this research.”

Well, 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! Now for an update on the numbers.  As of the writing of this update, we have had 191 individuals agree to participate in ANGI and 55 people have completed their participation. This is an incredible start and we are way ahead of schedule for the numbers we projected over the 4-years of ANGI data collection. We are definitely on the fast track to becoming a valuable resource to help decode the genetics of AN! 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!