Promising Eating Disorder Therapy

Eating disorders have become quite a serious condition that is affecting more and more people today. Aside from the physical effects of the said disorders, they may also have other far reaching consequences on the lives of sufferers. Its psychological impact may also be quite serious as more and more people continue to struggle to such experiences.

Psychologists and other medical experts are now trying to gain more and more understanding of these related disorders through research. The job of trying to eradicate eating disorders is currently being done in several fronts. The aim is to help people diagnosed or who are at risk of developing eating disorders. The experts would also be trying to throw light on certain myths associated with the different eating disorders.

Genetic Factors

There are currently a number of studies and research being taken up to examine the genetic connection of eating disorders. In the past, medical experts believe that eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are primarily caused by certain environmental factors such as peer and social pressure. But recent studies have shown that such eating disorders may be quite complex as originally thought. There may be certain genetic and biological risk factors at work.

Research being conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill aims to find the involvement of genes into certain eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. The said study is being conducted by UNC psychologist Cynthia Bulik, PhD, along with other researchers around the world which form part of the 13-country Genetic Consortium for Anorexia Nervosa. The aim is to conduct the largest ever genome wide association study for the said eating disorder. This will involve the pulling together of resources and DNA samples of more than 4,000 females diagnosed with anorexia along with 4,000 controls.

New Eating Disorder Treatments

There are also several innovative eating disorder treatments being developed to help out other sufferers who are usually left out of focus. There are also people in the hard to reach rural areas that may also be suffering from certain eating disorders but may not be available for current treatments for such conditions such as taking face to face group therapy.

New Therapy Studies

Researchers from the University of North Carolina along with Bulik and in collaboration with researchers from the University of Pittsburg would be conducting a new clinical trial that would compare the effectiveness of an online cognitive behavioral therapy session.  The novel treatment would be augmented by a therapist moderated online chat sessions held weekly with that of the traditional face to face group therapy.

Other therapy ideas being studied include a couples based anorexia treatment. There are other researchers who are also working on studying adult women with eating disorders. With focus on the more visible younger teens who suffer from such disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, a lot of adult women who still have the disorder can be largely forgotten. Studies aim to understand the experiences of older adult women with eating disorders and the pressures they go through.

Source: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/04/treatments.html