Research strategy

Mental Health Centre Ballerup hosts the PROLED study (Prospective Longitudinal All-comer Inclusion study on Eating Disorders) and the associated database and biobank. The study is the base study for biological research done on eating disorders (ED) at our Centre. 

The PROLED study will collect data from the results of clinical tests and blood samples done as part of routine investigations and diagnostic evaluations of all patients with ED. Through the next 10 years we will build a very significant cohort of well-defined patients with ED, unique to the European research environment. We anticipate gathering data from about 1000 patients over 10 years.

The main scientific interests are biomarkers, psychopathology, prognosis/disease course, and mortality of ED. The mission is to study the biological and clinical aspects of eating disorders via the collection of clinical data from interviews and tests, medical records data, and withdrawn blood and other bio-samples, during the course of the disease. From these, identify biomarkers; study and characterize the psychopathology, the disease course and the prognosis and gain a better understanding of the biology of ED.

Specific research aims are:

  1. Identify biomarkers for disease (trait biomarkers), disease course, treatment response and prognosis of Eating Disorders.

  2. The identification of molecular targets for improved treatment.

  3. Improve understanding of the clinical heterogeneity of ED by identifying subgroups (e.g. Endophenotypes) that may better predict prognosis, and also support in developing tailoring treatments. 

  4. Improve understanding of, and identify risk factors for, suicidality in Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa.

  5. Characterise and improve understanding of emotional dysregulation in Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.

  6. Research on core psychopathology on ED.

The PROLED study creates a basis for all reseach projects regarding ED at Mental Health Centre Ballerup, and several Ph.d. studies are planned as add-on studies to the PROLED-study.