Australian researchers are seeking more than 3,500 volunteers with first-hand experience of eating disorders to enrol in the local arm of the world’s largest-ever genetic investigation into the complex, devastating illnesses.
Eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illness.
This makes this ground-breaking Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) timely.
The initiative aims to identify hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, to improve treatment and, ultimately, save lives.
“Identifying the genes that predispose individuals to the development of an eating disorder is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle.
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“The more pieces we have on the table, the clearer the biological picture of the underlying causes of the disorder, and the better the chance of developing new and improved, personalised interventions and treatments,” says article co-author, EDGI Principal Investigator, Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Professor Cynthia Bulik.
According to an EDGI investigator article just published in MJA Insight, EDGI will further the significant advances made in a recent, international collaborative study – Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) – in order to revolutionise future research into the causes, treatment and prevention of eating disorders.
Volunteers need to be aged 13 years or over and have currently, or at any point in their lives experienced, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder.