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In addition to providing clinical care for kids and adolescents, our mission includes advancing our understanding of eating disorders and improving treatment. Read more about research at Children's Hospital Colorado.
We have an ongoing research studies to identify factors present at the time of admission, which may contribute to severity of illness and response to treatment, and to inform our approach to care. All patients and families entering the Eating Disorders Program are offered the opportunity to participate in this research effort.
The Eating Disorders Program is associated with the Developmental Brain Research Program (DBRP) at Children's Colorado, headed by Guido Frank, MD. Dr. Frank has been conducting eating disorders research for the past 15 years and has been working as a physician and researcher at Children’s Colorado in the eating disorders program for the past 6 years. Dr. Frank has been trained in child and adolescent psychiatry, has extensive psychotherapy training and has completed research training at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of California San Diego.
DBRP’s primary goal is to identify neurobiological mechanisms that may contribute to the development of eating disorders, as well as factors that make recovery difficult. We use advanced and state-of-the-art brain imaging methods to identify brain circuits that may be involved in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, obesity and binge eating disorder. These brain circuits are at the intersection of fear and food avoidance and biologic mechanisms that drive food intake. These brain mechanisms are associated with specific neurotransmitters that could be targeted with medication in order to improve the recovery from eating disorders.
In addition to the brain imaging studies, we are also conducting behavioral studies in order to identify psychological factors that could hinder recovery from eating disorders and that could be treated with specific psychotherapy interventions.
Over the past 6 years at Children’s Colorado, we have published 25 manuscripts. Selected recent publications are listed here:
We are also interested in the impact of medications in the course of treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN), and published a double-blind placebo controlled study of risperidone for the treatment of AN in 2011 in the Journal of the American Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Hagman J, et al, 2011;50(9):915-924.
Additionally, we have an active research study in collaboration with the Clinical Trials Research Center and the Center for Nutrition, with Janine Higgins, PhD, focused on nutrition and exercise in AN. The goal of this research is to understand the impact of dietary depletion and increased activity in onset and maintenance of anorexia nervosa; it also looks at alternative approaches to nutrient content during refeeding and weight restoration.
We are currently recruiting healthy female and male adolescents, ages 11 to 17 years old, for fMRI brain imaging and behavioral studies. Criteria for research studies are listed below:
Interested individuals may call 720-777-4026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.