Eating Disorders: Current Challenges and Future Directions

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 4762

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
Interests: psychiatry; psychosomatics; eating disorders; sexual orientation; gender dysphoria

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical University Hospital Tübingen, 72076 Tubingen, Germany
Interests: eating disorders; body representation; physical activity; virtual reality

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Guest Editor
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry 'Scuola Medica Salernitana', Section of Neurosciences, University of Salerno, 84084 Salerno, Italy
Interests: eating disorders; psychopathology; neuroscience; trauma; research methodology

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Guest Editor
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, University RWTH Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Interests: anorexia nervosa; early intervention; home treatment; developmental neuroscience; developmental psychiatry

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that disrupt psychosocial functioning and severely impact mental and physical health. In recent decades, relevant progress has been achieved on the comprehension of neurobiological and metabolic features, psychological functioning, and treatment approaches, but recovery rates remain insufficient. Moreover, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the burden of eating disorders: deteriorating psychopathology in patients, increasing incidence in the community—especially in adolescents—and overwhelmed services and treatment facilities. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, meta-analyses and critical reviews consistently underlined the need for more targeted and individualized approaches for people with eating disorders. New data are needed about biological and psychological vulnerability, efficient diagnosis, disorder-specific mechanisms, and approaches for intervention, serving the development of evidence-based treatments. 

This topic aims to gather contributions on current challenges and future directions in research and treatment of eating disorders. We welcome systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and original studies on current developments and challenges as well as on innovative approaches to improve existing diagnostic procedures, research paradigms, and treatments.

Dr. Paolo Meneguzzo
Dr. Simone Claire Behrens
Dr. Giammarco Cascino
Dr. Brigitte Dahmen
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • anorexia nervosa
  • bulimia nervosa
  • binge eating disorder
  • feeding disorders
  • avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • pica
  • loss of control eating

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 573 KiB  
Article
Gastric Myoelectric Activity and Body Composition in Women with Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa: A Preliminary Trial Study
by Seham H. Alyami, Adel Alhamdan, Hanan M. Alebrahim, Ahmad H. Almadani, Ghadeer S. Aljuraiban and Mahmoud M. A. Abulmeaty
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(14), 4563; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12144563 - 08 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1401
Abstract
Women with eating disorders (EDs) often complain of abnormal gastric responses, which may impact their eating patterns and, consequently, their body composition. Binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN) have been shown to affect gastric myoelectric activity (GMA), which may provide a [...] Read more.
Women with eating disorders (EDs) often complain of abnormal gastric responses, which may impact their eating patterns and, consequently, their body composition. Binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN) have been shown to affect gastric myoelectric activity (GMA), which may provide a basis for the gastric response in this disease population. This study aimed to examine GMA and body composition in patients with an ED compared to age—body mass index (BMI) matched controls. This case—control study included 18 adults diagnosed with BED or BN compared to 19 age—gender-BMI-matched controls. The electrogastrography with water load test was used to measure GMA during fasting and after water loading to satiety. Body composition was measured using a bioelectric impedance analyzer. The results showed that the ED group had a significantly higher water load than the control group and increased percentages of tachygastria times. Comparing the BED and BN subgroups showed differences in body composition status between the subgroups in the form of less fat mass, muscle mass, and total body water in the BN subgroup. In the BN subgroup, fat mass was associated with the average dominant frequency in the EGG. Thus, measuring GMA may be a promising approach to understanding gastric abnormalities in patients with EDs. Therapies targeting improving body composition in women with BED and BN are recommended in future ED management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Disorders: Current Challenges and Future Directions)
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18 pages, 1432 KiB  
Article
An Attentional Bias Modification Task, through Virtual Reality and Eye-Tracking Technologies, to Enhance the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa
by Franck-Alexandre Meschberger-Annweiler, Mariarca Ascione, Bruno Porras-Garcia, Marta Ferrer-Garcia, Manuel Moreno-Sanchez, Helena Miquel-Nabau, Eduardo Serrano-Troncoso, Marta Carulla-Roig and José Gutiérrez-Maldonado
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(6), 2185; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12062185 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1828
Abstract
Mirror exposure therapies (METs) have been shown to be effective in reducing body image disturbances through the habituation process. Virtual reality (VR) combined with eye-tracking techniques can provide innovative solutions to some of METs’ limitations reported with patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), especially [...] Read more.
Mirror exposure therapies (METs) have been shown to be effective in reducing body image disturbances through the habituation process. Virtual reality (VR) combined with eye-tracking techniques can provide innovative solutions to some of METs’ limitations reported with patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), especially the negative influence of body-related attentional bias (AB). This pilot study aimed to assess the preliminary efficacy of a new VR-based AB modification task (ABMT) among healthy women and the procedure’s user experience. AB levels towards weight- and non-weight-related body parts, using complete fixation time (CFT) and number of fixations (NF), were assessed throughout the ABMT procedure (300 trials). The user experience was evaluated at the end of the procedure. The results showed that VR-based ABMT was effective in reducing AB significantly after 150 trials for both CFT- and NF-based measures, although 225 trials were necessary to get the same result for women with an NF initially more oriented towards weight-related body parts. Overall, the software received a “C-rating” on a scale from “A” (most usable) to “F” (least usable). These results provide evidence of the opportunity to use a VR-based ABMT procedure to reduce AB and improve existing treatments for AN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Disorders: Current Challenges and Future Directions)
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10 pages, 2021 KiB  
Article
A Multicenter Network Analysis Examining the Psychological Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients with Eating Disorders versus Their Healthy Siblings
by Paolo Meneguzzo, Alberto De Mico, Pietro Gori, Alessio Ajello, Enrico Ceccato, Mauro Domenico Consolati, Antonio Vita, Alessandra Sala and Paolo Santonastaso
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(23), 7187; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11237187 - 02 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
(1) Background: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with eating disorders (EDs) has been recorded all over the world; the traumatic effects of COVID-19 have exacerbated specific and general psychopathologies in those with EDs. Comparing patients’ and their healthy siblings’ responses [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals with eating disorders (EDs) has been recorded all over the world; the traumatic effects of COVID-19 have exacerbated specific and general psychopathologies in those with EDs. Comparing patients’ and their healthy siblings’ responses might help one evaluate whether there are significant differences between healthy individuals and those struggling with EDs in regard to posttraumatic psychological symptoms. (2) Methods: A sample of 141 ED patients and 99 healthy siblings were enrolled in this study in two different centers specializing in ED treatment. All participants completed the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) checklist and an eating and general psychopathological self-report questionnaire. Network analysis was then applied to evaluate the differences between the populations. (3) Results: No significant differences emerged between the network structures despite the significant differences between patients and their healthy siblings in regard to posttraumatic symptoms, eating, and general psychopathology. (4) Conclusion: The complex nature of the interaction between environmental and personal factors should be evaluated further in individuals with EDs due to how they respond to traumatic events, which exacerbate patients’ psychopathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Disorders: Current Challenges and Future Directions)
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