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Anorexia clinical trials at UCSF

4 in progress, 2 open to eligible people

Anorexia means not eating enough due to fear of gaining weight. UCSF is conducting a study using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to understand anorexia better. UCSF is also testing a new method to provide mental health care.

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  • Identifying Networks Underlying Compulsivity in Anorexia Nervosa for Targeting With Neuromodulation

    open to eligible people ages 18-45

    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of refractory Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by restrictive eating leading to low weight and associated complications. There is an emerging understanding that the symptoms of OCD and AN overlap as AN can be characterized by obsessive thought patterns around food and compulsive restricting and weight loss behaviors. Both conditions are characterized by a propensity toward cognitive inflexibility and the conditions may share neural substrates that maintain maladaptive habitual behaviors and cognitive rigidity. An evidence-based repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) target for OCD is the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The investigators intend to determine if the OFC is also a potential rTMS target for AN and to determine if there is a characteristic pattern of functional network reorganization as characterized by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in TMS responders.

    San Francisco, California

  • FBT for Adolescent AN for Providers in Private Practice

    open to eligible people ages 18 years and up

    There is a critical need to disseminate efficacious psychosocial treatments for mental disorders as there is a significant gap between evidenced-based approaches and common clinical practice. One example of the need to improve dissemination and implementation of psychosocial treatments is for adolescent Anorexia Nervosa (AN), a serious mental disorder with an incidence rate of about 1% that can become life-threatening. Based on outcomes from a series of randomized clinical trials (RCTs), the first-line treatment for adolescent AN is Family-based Treatment (FBT); however, very few therapists are trained to use FBT for AN. Further, while approximately 45-50% of US mental health outpatient providers are in private practice, little attention has been paid to how best to train this group. Care for adolescent AN, in particular, is provided in private practice at high rates, because specialist programs in non-private settings are few and not readily accessible. Motivations, incentives, and rationale for learning evidence-based treatments (EBTs) differ in this group compared to therapists embedded in an organization or health care system. In this application, we propose to use an online training strategy to study the adoption of FBT to better understand factors that limit or enhance uptake and implementation of this treatment in private practice. We developed and piloted a self-directed enhanced online training (ET-FBT) aimed at improving therapist skills and knowledge related to key components of FBT for AN that predict patient outcome in a group of therapists of which 64% were in private practice. We propose to build on these findings to examine the feasibility of new methods to retain therapists during supervision, assess fidelity, and collect patient outcomes from clinicians in private practice. Thus, our specific aims are: Aim 1: The overall aim of the study is to assess the feasibility of conducting a randomized clinical trial comparing two implementation strategies (online training vs webinar training) for training clinicians in private practice in FBT for AN. We predict that those randomized to online training will be retained, receive supervision, and provide patient data at higher rates than those who receive webinar training. Aim 2: Patient outcomes (reflecting therapist effectiveness) will be assessed by comparing patient weight gain from session 1 to 4 of FBT before and after training (target for training effect) and compared between randomized groups. We predict a moderate efficacy signal difference favoring those who are received the online training. because of increased training in key components in the online training program. Aim 3: Validate training effect by examining the association between therapist fidelity to FBT and patient outcomes. We predict that fidelity will be correlated (target validation) with patient outcome. The effects of therapeutic alliance, participation in supervision, and self-efficacy on both fidelity and patient outcome will be explored. Aim 4: Explore BL factors associated with implementation processes (e.g. prior training, experience, family work).The primary significance of this study is its potential to increase the availability of FBT--the most effective treatment for adolescent AN. Increased availability of FBT will decrease cost, hospitalization, morbidity, mortality, and chronicity of the disorder.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Individualized Study of Refeeding to Optimize iNpatient Gains

    Sorry, accepting new patients by invitation only

    The primary purpose of the trial is to compare the efficacy and safety of Individualized Caloric Refeeding (ICR) to the new standard of care, Higher Calorie Refeeding (HCR), in hospitalized patients with atypical anorexia nervosa (AAN), and clinical remission over one year of follow-up.

    San Francisco, California and other locations

  • Optimizing Provider Training in Eating Disorders (OPTED)

    Sorry, in progress, not accepting new patients

    This is a randomized controlled trial for mental health clinicians comparing two methods of training in family-based treatment (FBT) for restrictive eating disorders.

    San Francisco, California

Our lead scientists for Anorexia research studies include .

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