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Anorexia clinical trials at UCSD
4 in progress, 2 open to eligible people

  • Influence of Reward and Punishment on Goal-directed and Habit Learning in Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa

    open to eligible females ages 13-17

    The proposed study of adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) will examine the association of behavioral differences in constructs of decision making, brain structure and connectivity, and eating disorder (ED) symptoms. This study tests the novel hypothesis that goal-directed and habit learning for reward and punishment is altered in AN and is uniquely associated with divergent symptoms and differences in corticostriatal connectivity and microstructural integrity. We will recruit 78 females currently ill with AN and 26 controls ages 13-17 to investigate how goal-directed and habit learning for reward and punishment correspond to 1) clinical symptoms collected via interviews, self-report assessments, and ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and 2) brain structure and connectivity in the resting state. Data collection will rely on a technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

    San Diego, California

  • Study of Food Aversion in Patients With Anorexia Nervosa

    open to eligible females ages 18-55

    This study uses a meal-challenge protocol to assess if patients with anorexia nervosa show a differential metabolism in response to food in comparison to healthy controls. This study determines how heritable and biochemical factors influence food metabolism in anorexia nervosa in order to develop more effective treatment strategies.

    La Jolla, California and other locations

  • Dopamine Receptor Contributions to Prediction Error and Reversal Learning in Anorexia Nervosa

    Sorry, not yet accepting patients

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder associated with intense fear of weight gain, food refusal, and severe weight loss. AN has the highest mortality rate among the psychiatric disorders; however, little is known about biomarkers, and no medication has been approved for AN. Many individuals only partially recover, and treatment options, especially for the psychological components of the illness, are not very effective, highlighting the need for more effective treatments. Brain reward pathways have a direct impact on the drive to eat, and a variety of neuroimaging studies have suggested altered reward processing in AN. The neurotransmitter dopamine has a central role in the reward circuitry to drive food approach, and the dynamic interplay between dopamine receptor response and food restriction could have implications for the pathophysiology of AN. Dopamine-related brain function has been studied indirectly using functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI) and tasks that deliver reward stimuli unexpectedly, that elicit the so-called prediction error (PE) response. Research in AN showed repeatedly altered PE processing suggesting altered dopamine circuit function in the disorder. Dopamine and PE response have also been associated with altered reversal learning, which has important treatment implication for AN as reversal learning is impaired in the disorder and modulation of the dopamine system could improve treatment.

  • Outcomes of a Skill-Based Program for Eating Disorders

    Sorry, not currently recruiting here

    This study aims to measure the effect of a neurobiologically-guided intensive family based treatment for adults with anorexia nervosa.

    San Diego, California and other locations

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