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Approved research

Neuroanatomical, neurofunctional and genetic correlates of eating disorders - A transdiagnostical approach

Principal Investigator: Professor Stefan Ehrlich
Approved Research ID: 43880
Approval date: July 29th 2019

Lay summary

Eating disorders in their various forms lead to severe medical complications and personal suffering. Until now successful treatment strategies are still missing with severe consequences for the individual and the society. To develop better therapies it is essential to understand the different biological mechanisms that underpin the different forms of eating disorders. We are particularly interested in structural and functional brain changes, neuropsychological, as well as genetic characteristics and how they are related to eating-disorder behaviors such as abnormal levels of physical activity and diet behavior. In a first step this will allow us to better understand how such typical eating disorder behaviors influence the brain's structure and function and how they differ between the various types of eating disorders. In a second step we will compare these variables between patients with eating disorders and other psychiatric disorders and investigate whether neurofunctional and -anatomical alterations suggest a different grouping of patients than it is proposed by conventional disorder classification. This will lay the foundations for future research seeking to develop new interventions that are more specifically targeted for particular subgroups of patients with eating disorders.