Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences

Eating Disorders

Get a scan of your brain at Stanford!

We are seeking children and adolescents aged 12 to 18 who have a current diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia, OR those who have no history of an eating disorder or any other psychiatric illness.


If you decide to participate you will be scanned using an MRI scanner while you do a short computer task.  You will be paid $50 for being in the study. Your participation will involve coming to Stanford to be scanned and complete some questionnaires, and a 45 minute interview.

If you are interested, please contact

Focus Groups for Anorexia Nervosa

Do you or does someone you love have Anorexia Nervosa? Have you been in treatment for Anorexia Nervosa? If so, we want to hear from you!

We are conducting focus groups to understand patient and parent perspectives on treatment for Anorexia Nervosa.

Participation requires approximately 2 hours.  You will fill out questionnaires and participate in a focus group, where we ask questions about what worked (and what did not) in your treatment.

If you are interested, please contact Sarah Forsberg at:

Free Outpatient Treatment For Women and Men Suffering from Binge Eating Disorder

This study is designed to compare two different approaches to the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder (BED). BED is associated with impairments in physical, psychological, and social functioning. Disordered eating has been linked to both low self-esteem and negative emotional states. We are offering eligible men and women participants 18 or older 10 sessions of free group therapy. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to one of two possible treatment conditions. Each group will last 1 hour and meet weekly for 4 weeks and then biweekly for 6 weeks.

Participants eligible for this study will be assigned by chance to one of two therapy groups. Participants in one group will focus on the role of restricted eating in binge eating. Participants in the other group will focus on the role of negative emotions in binge eating. We have reason to believe both groups will be effective in reducing binge eating. All participants will receive 10 sessions of group therapy led by well-trained therapists.

To determine eligibility for the study, prospective participants will be asked to complete one telephone screen and one in-person assessment interview regarding their eating disorder and associated symptoms. This assessment will last 2-3 hours.

Following entry into the study, participants are asked to complete similar assessments on four occasions (at post-treatment and at 6, and 12 months follow-up). All 3 sessions will last approximately 1-2 hours each. The length of commitment to the study is approximately 4 months (for the duration of the treatment) and then the following year, during which follow-up assessments will be made in order to test the effectiveness of the treatment over time.

Participants must reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and have transportation to Stanford University.

Participants must also

  1. not be currently in treatment for an eating disorder (or must be willing to discontinue if entered into the study);
  2. not be currently a member of such groups as Weight Watchers/Jenny Craig (or must be willing to discontinue if entered into the study);
  3. not currently be taking medications affecting weight or appetite. Antidepressants are acceptable but doses of any psychiatric medication must have been stable for at least 1 months prior to study start;
  4. not currently be planning or in process of undergoing gastric bypass surgery.

We are currently recruiting for this study. Groups are forming now and starting soon! For more information, please call Sarah Pajarito, our Research Coordinator, at 650-724-9251 or email

Outpatient Treatment for Women Recovering from Anorexia Nervosa

This study is designed to compare two different outpatient treatments for women (ages 14-50) who currently have anorexia nervosa, or who have had anorexia nervosa in the recent past. Eligible participants will receive 48 weeks of free treatment in one of the following treatment groups:

All participants will receive 18 medical management sessions and 10 psychoeducational family sessions during the study. In these visits with the study physician, participants will have their health medically monitored and receive education about the medical consequences of anorexia nervosa.

Participants assigned to medication treatment will receive education about the benefits of medication therapy, medication management, and free medication during these visits. Participants assigned to cognitive-behavioral therapy will receive 37 individual therapy sessions in addition to the medical management and psychoeducational family sessions.

To determine eligibility for the study, all prospective participants will be asked to complete interviews regarding their eating disorder and associated problems. Prospective participants will also be asked to complete a medical history interview and to undergo lab tests, requiring a small blood sample and a urine sample. These assessments total about seven hours, and can be divided between two or three appointments. Following entry into the study, participants will be asked to complete similar assessments at twelve week intervals during treatment, and four weeks following the completion of treatment. The length of the commitment to the study is one year. Participants must reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and have transportation to Stanford University.

Enrollment is closed: Rebecca Duke;

Longitudinal Study of Eating Disorders

This research study is designed to learn more about the course and characteristics of eating disorders in women between the ages of 14 and 50. It is a multicenter study being conducted at Stanford University, Cornell University, and the University of Minnesota. Knowledge gained through this study may provide methods for enhancing the treatment of these disorders.

Participants in this study come to our research center at Stanford University (in Palo Alto,CA) once every six months during a five-year period for clinical assessments. These visits last about three hours, with the exception of the first visit, which lasts five to six hours. Individuals receive $50 compensation for each of these visits. In addition, a one-hour telephone interview is scheduled for a date halfway between each clinic visit. Both the clinic visits and the phone interviews are conducted by trained clinical assessors.

Individuals in the study also receive a regular newsletter which contains information about the progress of the study and other items of interest. This is NOT a treatment program for eating disorders, however, all participants are free to seek outside treatment, medication, or therapy at any time during their involvement in the study. We are able to provide referrals. Participation in the study is confidential. We are no longer recruiting participants for this study but if you would like to know more about it, please call our research staff at 650.725.5737.

For further information regarding questions, concerns, or complaints  about research, research related injury, and questions about the rights of research participants, please call (650) 723-5244 or call toll free 1-866-680-2906 or write the Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Medical Research, Administrative Panels Office, Stanford University,  Stanford, CA 94305-5401.


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