Researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) are looking for over 6,000 participants age 18 and above who have directly experienced eating disorders to join the world’s largest-ever genetic research study in 3 complexes, devastating mental illnesses.
The innovative Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) focuses on identifying the numerous genes that influence an individual’s risk of developing anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa to enhance treatment and ultimately save lives.
As per the latest survey results examining the impact of coronavirus on Americans living with eating disorders that were performed by Professor Cynthia Bulik and her research team, EDGI Principal Investigator, Notable Professor of Eating Disorders, School of Medicine, UNC, Department of Psychiatry, helping individuals with eating disorders is more important than ever.
People with current or previous experience of an eating disorder face exclusive risks due to the ongoing pandemic. While factors related to COVID-19, including the quarantining effects, fear of infection, and lack of clear information will propel the wider community’s mental health and further affect the individuals fighting pre-existing mental illnesses like eating disorder.
Professor Bulik confirmed that according to their new data, more than two-thirds are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their mental health even more than worrying about the COVID-19 impact on their physical health.
National Institute of Mental Health is funding EDGI which follows the innovations made in recent times through the collective Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative, which exhibited both metabolic and psychiatric origins of anorexia nervosa that explains why individuals residing with the disorder find it difficult to gain weight, notwithstanding their best attempts.
Professor Bulik stated that the EDGI provides an exclusive opportunity to investigate the complicated complex interplay of environmental and genetic factors that contribute to eating disorders, to enhance diagnosis, treatment, and management, an attempt that is more critical during the ongoing pandemic.
Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that can cause permanent and severe permanent physical complications, and even death. Though various studies have discovered one’s genetic tendency predisposition to developing an eating disorder, only a few of the responsible genes have been recognized to date.