Do several members of your family have an eating disorder? It is possible that part of the reason why this happens has to do with genetics. There is a group that is trying to detect the genetic variation that connects to eating disorders. They are seeking participants who can donate genetic material to this cause.
The ANGI-Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative is the largest and most rigorous genetic investigation of eating disorders ever conducted. Their researchers are located in the United States, Sweden, Australia, and Denmark. They want to collect clinical information and blood samples from over 8,000 individuals who have anorexia nervosa and also from individuals without an eating disorder.
The purpose of this effort is to detect genetic variation that contributes to anorexia nervosa, which is a potentially life threatening illness. The goal of the research study is to transform our knowledge about the causes of eating disorders and to work toward a greater understanding and ultimately a cure.
They are about halfway towards their recruitment goal (as of Spring of 2015). They have collected almost 7,000 blood samples from participants. Now, they are working towards obtaining 13,000 blood samples from participants who have a history of anorexia nervosa.
Are you interested in contributing to this cause? There is an online eligibility survey that you must complete. It takes about 30 minutes. They are seeking participants who have a history of anorexia nervosa and participants who have no history of an eating disorder.
The organization works with a mobile phlebotomy company that can come to your home (or location of your choice) to draw your blood sample. Participants can receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Participants also get the satisfaction of knowing that their blood sample will help researchers learn more about the genetics connected to anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted perception of body weight. People who have anorexia nervosa spend a lot of time and effort trying to control their weight. They use extreme measures that tend to significantly interfere with activities in their lives.
People who have anorexia nervosa severely restrict the amount of food they intake. They may also purge the food they have eaten. The Mayo Clinic says that people who have this disorder equate thinness with self-worth.
The causes of anorexia nervosa are unknown. There is a belief that there could be genetic changes that make some people more vulnerable than others to develop this disorder. It is those genetic details that the ANGI-Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative is trying to discover.
Image by Doug Floyd on Flickr.
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