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University of Otago, Christchurch joins largest anorexia genetic study


More people die because of anorexia nervosa than any other mental illness. No effective drug treatment exists.

The Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI) is a global study to find genetic variations associated with the disease. The brain pathways associated with these variations could be targeted by medication.

The New Zealand team

Martin Kennedy and Jenny JordanGeneticist Professor Martin Kennedy says strong evidence exists for genetic involvement in risk of anorexia.

To identify specific genetic variations requires studying thousands of people, as each gene will only have a tiny effect on risk of developing the disease.

The ANGI project will collect the genes of more than 13,000 people worldwide. More than 1000 New Zealanders will take part.

Psychologist Dr Jenny Jordan is leading the New Zealand ANGI study with Professor Kennedy. She has treated and studied those with eating disorders for more than two decades.

Join the global study

To be part of the ANGI study, people will have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at any time in their life.