Introduction to the research area

​MD Alia Hussain presenting the poster "Lipid and Cholesterol Dysregulation in Anorexia Nervosa  - a Systematic Review

Research on eating disorders (ED) is a primary area of research at Mental Health Centre Ballerup. Since January 2017 all treatment for ED in adults living in the Capitol region of Denmark is provided by the Eating Disorder Section, Mental Health Center Ballerup. As such, we have a strong commitment to provide internationally recognized research within the field of ED with the aim of providing better treatments.

The objective of our research is to via an improved understanding of the psychology (psychopathology) and biology (pathophysiology) of ED find clues to more effective treatments.

More specifically, our aims are:
  • To understand the psychological factors driving development and maintenance of Eating disorders 
  • To understand the biological factors (pathophysiology) driving development and maintenance of Eating Disorders 
  • Via the above mentioned aims to find clues to more efficacious and tailored treatments for Eating Disorders 

By doing this, we aspire to: 
  • Reduce mortality of Eating Disorders
  • Reduce rate of relapse 

Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric disorders. Chronicity is high (47%) and the effect of current treatments is insufficient. About 50% of patients with Eating disorders will suffer through their lifetime. Current treatment aims to normalize weight; stabilize eating patterns; educate about nutrition/food, eating and eating behavior, and eating disorders; treat co-morbidities (e.g. depression, anxiety, insomnia); and to improve coping skills and understanding of dysfunctional thought/behavioral patterns, aiming to improve insight. Current treatment is multi-faceted and major emphasis is put into psychotherapy.

In view of the high mortality and chronicity, there is a great need to radically rethink treatment to complement, tailor-made and enhance current treatments for ED. There are novel psychological (e.g. fear extinction, differential motivational) and biological (e.g. genetic, microbiome, and biomarker) findings which point to potentially novel directions for treatment of ED, particularly Anorexia Nervosa. We are conducting research that focusses on these aspects and aim is to find clues to better treatments of ED



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