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Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

These pages contain information for eating disorder sufferers, carers, family and friends, as well as healthcare and education professionals. Please use the links on the left of this page to find out more.

The Eating Disorders research group aims to find out more about the neurobiological, genetic and psychological causes and consequences of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders, and to use that knowledge to develop new and better treatments.

Research is closely interwoven with clinical services run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), which serves a population of two million people in south-east London and takes specialist referrals from throughout the UK. SLaM’s eating disorder services for adults include out-patient services based at the Maudsley Hospital and at Guy’s Hospital; a day care service at the Maudsley Hospital and an inpatient and rehabilitation unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Kent.

Many of the people referred to these services, and their families, participate in the group’s research projects. These projects are often conducted in collaboration with beat (formerly the Eating Disorders Association), the UK’s leading eating disorders charity.

Research participants take part in a variety of studies, ranging from brain imaging projects to help researchers find out more about hunger circuits and how they are affected by eating disorders, to projects searching for genetic factors that influence the development of eating disorders, to projects studying the cognitive-emotional and physical consequences of an eating disorder. Participants also help in the development of new treatments: This includes for example, a web-based treatment to help parents and carers offer support needed to aid recovery, and a web-based self-help package based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for people with bulimia nervosa, a new out-patient treatment for anorexia nervosa (MANTRA), and  a novel group-based treatment for bulimia nervosa.

The Group runs a Volunteers Database and is always keen to hear from people with experience of an eating disorder as well as healthy volunteers. 

Funders of the group’s research include

  •  The Medical Research Council;
  • The IoP-based Psychiatry Research Trust;
  • The charities Research into Eating Disorders and Swiss Anorexia Foundation and the Department of Health:

The Group has been awarded £2 million through the National Institute for Health Research for work on understanding more about anorexia nervosa and translating that understanding into treatment. The Group is also a collaborator in a major European Commission-funded project which focuses on improving health care for women with eating disorders and involves nine partners from eight European countries. INTACT (Individually Tailored Stepped Care for Women with Eating Disorders) is researching and developing individually tailored treatment by finding out more about the genetic, social and environmental risks involved in anorexia nervosa, bulimia and other eating disorders.

The Group organises training for health professionals about treatments for eating disorders, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, medical management, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Dates for training courses and other events organised by the Eating Disorders Group are posted on the IoP website What’s On page.

The Group’s research teams are based at the IoP and at Guy’s Hospital at London Bridge. They are led by Professor Ulrike Schmidt, based at the IoP, and Professor Janet Treasure, based at Guy’s.

Ulrike Schmidt is a Professor of Eating Disorders and a consultant psychiatrist. In addition to her research, she leads SLaM’s outpatient eating disorders services based at the Maudsley Hospital.

Janet Treasure is a Professor of Psychiatry and a consultant psychiatrist who has specialised in the treatment of eating disorders for more than 20 years. She is chief medical advisor of beat and is director of SLaM’s inpatient unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

 

Section of Eating Disorders
Department of Psychological Medicine

Institute of Psychiatry
De Crespigny Park
London SE5 8AF

Contact: Mrs. Jocelyn De Guzman

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