Demystifying the Biological Research of Eating Disorders

IAEDP Symposium 2011

About the Course:

Webinar from the 2011 International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Symposium.

This lecture, based on Dr. DeSarbo’s upcoming book, Demystifying the Biology of Eating Disorders, addresses recent published scientific research in the ED field. Participants can incorporate this information into their practice to improve treatment outcomes, develop better treatment plans, educate patients using scientific evidence, and enhance patient rapport. Over 25 international studies will be covered including the biological discoveries explaining the impact of neurochemistry, neuroanatomy, and endocrine findings of EDs. Learn to incorporate into treatment the biology of EDs from the lecture’s translation of complex research data into easy to understand concepts with important implications. A complete workbook is included.

Course Outline: Demystifying the Biology of Eating Disorders

(Workbook Provided with Lecture)

Jeffrey DeSarbo, DO

I. Understanding the Research of Eating Disorders

A. Where to Find the Published Research: the risks and benefits of obtaining research from various sources (i.e. scientific journals, company newsletters, product/company studies, the internet, newspapers and the media.) B: Types of Research Studies: understanding how research studies are designed and data is obtained. 1) What is Blind/Double Blind vs. Open Studies? 2) What is a Placebo Controlled Study? 3) Types of Data Collection. 4) What is a Case Report? 5) What is a Center Study? 6) What are Multi-Center Studies? 7) What are Clinical Trials? 8) A Brief Tutorial in Neuroimaging. C. Interpretation and Validity of Data: Differentiating the difference between “good” data and “poor” data. 1) The Relevance of Correlation. 2) The Importance of Study Size. 3) What is Replication? 4) Paying Attention to Disclosure of Interests. II. Understanding Specific Research Studies and Findings A. Genetic Discoveries (heritability, chromosomal) with eating disorders B. Neuroanotomical findings (brain changes) with eating disorders C. Neuroimaging (MRI, fMRI, SPECT, CAT/PET SCAN) findings with eating disorders. D. Neurotransmitter (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, cannabiods, etc.) research with eating disorders. E. Endocrine (pituitary, estrogen, leptin, thyroid, etc.) findings with eating disorders. F. Pharmacological (psychiatric and medical drugs) research in eating disorder treatment. G. Psychotherapy research studies (DBT, ACT, CBT, etc.) with eating disorders. H. Complimentary treatments (yoga, vitamins, massage, etc.) with eating disorders.

III. Applications of Research Findings for Treatment Planning and Your Practice

A. Self-Understanding: How to understanding and conceptualizing your patient and their condition in a more comprehensive manner by incorporating the emerging research evidence. B. Communicating with Patients and Families: How to better establish rapport by demonstrating an expanded knowledge of the disease process and teaching patients about the biology of their condition using lay terms. C. Communicating with Collaborating Clinicians: How to better communicate with other treatment providers by understand the concepts of evidence based research and practices. D. Treatment Planning: How to create better treatment plans by conceptualizing your patient in a more scientific manner.

Note: For this course there is a small additional fee to obtain the webinar. Please see the “Get Course Materials” link in the right sidebar for details.


Jeffrey DeSarbo, DO (presenter)

About the Author:

Jeffrey DeSarbo, D.O. is a Board Certified Psychiatrist in private practice in Garden City, NY, the Director of Psychiatric Services for the N.Y. Eating Disorder Medical Group and the Producer of the Eating Disorder News Network ( His practice specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and he practices psychodynamic, CBT and existential therapy in addition to psychopharmacological management. He is also currently authoring two books: Demystifying the Biology Behind Eating Disorders, and Why Eating Disorder Treatment Fails. Dr. DeSarbo’s special interest is with the neurobiological aspects of eating disorders and helping others understand how their biology effects their lives.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, therapists, and counselors who seek to update their research knowledge and competency in treating patients with eating disorders, increase and acquire new skills, learn new intervention strategies, and obtain continuing education credits. It is appropriate for professionals at all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain what the research studies have discovered about the neurobiological implications of eating disorders.

  2. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and translate complex research findings in a manner that is easy to understand and communicate to patients.

  3. Following this presentation, participants will be able to identify, utilize and explain the importance of incorporating scientific evidence into their treatment plans with patients and families.

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