Christmas was a particularly awful time when Anorexia Nervosa ruled my life. Another year was drawing to a close, and I remained a prisoner of the illness. The surrounding bright and bubbly festive gaiety clashed horribly with inner anguish and self-loathing.
Not any more. Today ANGI gives me great cause to be hopeful and in a celebratory mood. To illustrate, I share this letter about Australia’s participation in this exciting research (be sure to scroll on down for links to to ANGI’s great progress in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom and Australia):
Dear June, Thank you for your support of the ANGI project. We would like to update you on progress with the study over the past year and what we plan for 2016 and beyond.
Firstly, 2015 has been a fantastic year for the ANGI project – we have built on our initial success in 2013/14 and have collected over 1200 blood samples over the past 12 months. This brings the total of blood samples collected to over 2000!!! This a great effort and places the ANGI project in a very strong position to reach its goal of 13,000 samples worldwide. It also means that we have contributed almost 20 per cent of the ongoing collection, more than pulling our weight.
In 2015, we have successfully expanded our collection site into New Zealand, where we have collected over 150 blood samples from participants.
We are now in the final stretch and will continue to collect samples until June 2016. So if you have not yet donated a sample, now is your chance! By the last quarter of 2016, all the samples collected in Australian and NZ will be pooled together with samples from all sites across the globe and submitted for genotyping at the Broad Institute of Harvard University in the USA. Genotyping, which gives a read out of each participant’s genetic code, will take quite a few months and be completed well into 2017. Once genotyping is completed, a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) will be undertaken comparing the genotypes of participants who have had anorexia nervosa and with our control participants who have never had an eating disorder. That analysis will allow us to identify which genes are associated with anorexia nervosa!
I am sure you are keen to hear about the results – as you can see there is still a quite a bit of work to do after sample collection is complete. We anticipate the first paper on the results to be published in 2018. We will keep you updated as the research progresses. Please also visit http://uncexchanges.org/ every once and a while as ANGI updates will be published here.
We are sincerely grateful for your help. We are almost there and encourage you to spread the word about ANGI so we can make and even surpass our target. Every blood sample counts.
ANGI Project Coordinator, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Queensland
How to Participate and Stay Informed
In the US: www.unceatingdisorders.org/angi
In Sweden: www.angi.se
In Australia: angi.qimr.edu.au
In New Zealand: www.angi.nz
In the UK: www.charlotteshelix.net/