Binge Eating Therapy

More Clinical Studies for Binge Eating, Bulimia and Anorexia

After I posted about clinical trials a couple of weeks ago, I began thinking that I’m sure a lot of you would be interested in getting involved in some clinical trials for binge eating and or bulimia. What is a clinical study you ask?  Researchers are trying everyday to figure out better ways to treat eating disorders. So, they form hypotheses that certain kinds of therapy or certain types of drugs or combinations of psychotherapy and pharmacological intervention can help. Then, they have to actually test these hypotheses. That’s where you come in. They recruit a certain number of people for a set time to test their drugs or their non-drug therapies to see if they work. The drugs aren’t new experimental drugs (usually) they are most often pharmaceuticals that have been around for a long time. But as of right now, there is no drug used for the specific cause of binge eating.

So what do you get? You get free therapy, free pharmaceuticals, the chance to heal your binge eating or bulimia and the opportunity to contribute to a larger purpose– a way to heal eating disorders. In some cases you get paid too. But not all.

So here is a list of studies, where they are and how to contact them.

1. Located in New Haven, CT– This study will test the effectiveness of two empirically-supported but distinct treatments for recurrent binge eating in obese patients: 1) Cognitive Behavior Therapy, using a pure self-help approach and 2) sibutramine, an anti-obesity medication also found to have efficacy for binge eating. Self-help Cognitive Behavior Therapy and sibutramine will be administered alone and in combination in a primary care setting.

 For more information or to see if you qualify contact Rachel Barnes at 203-785-6396

2.Located in Palo Alto, CA--Guided Self Help for Binge Eating–The proposed study will employ a randomized design to evaluate the efficacy of two group-based guided self-help treatments: Integrative Response Therapy (IRT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Guided Self-Help, a treatment of known efficacy, in group-format (CBT-GSHg) in the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder (BED), and explore (1) moderators and mediators of treatment, (2) the relative cost-effectiveness of the two treatments, and (3) between group differences on secondary measures (e.g., eating disorder and general psychopathology).

For more information or to see if you qualify, contact Athena Robinson, 650-736-0943

3. Located in Montpellier, France– The objective of this project is to assess whether a program of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) under high frequency at the left DLPFC reduces bulimic symptoms in the short term. To do this we will count the number of binge during the 15 days following the last session of rTMS.

4. Throughout the United States– Sponsorer University of Cincinnati– The use of a certain drug vs. a placebo in moderate to severe binge eating disorder. Contact  Shire Call Center 1-866-842-5335

5. Located in Palo Alto, CA-– For adolescents with bulimia– compares family therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of bulimia. James Lock, MD, PhD(650) 723-5473

6. Located in Richmond, VA–This study aims to develop a manualized and culturally sensitive intervention for adolescent girls targeting binge and loss of control (LOC) eating. The investigators will evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention in a controlled pilot trial. The investigators hypothesize that this intervention will serve to reduce binge and LOC eating, as well as improve psychosocial functioning as evidenced by decreased depression, anxiety, eating disorder cognitions, and impulsivity, and improved quality of life.  Contact:  Nichole R Kelly, M.S.804.827.9244

7. Located in Pittsburgh, PA— For the treatment of bulimia, this study aims to compare two forms of CBT: face-to-face group therapy and online group therapy via cbt4bn.orgContact: Sara Hofmeier 919-966-2882

8. Located in New York City--The aim of this project is to use both functional MRI (fMRI) and behavioral measures to investigate how disturbances in frontostriatal neural systems contribute to the impulsive and habitual binge-eating behaviors in patients with Bulimia Nervosa. Findings from this study will have wide-ranging importance for our understanding of the development and treatment of Bulimia.

Contact: Eating Disorder Clinic – 212-543-5739 

or Naomi Greenburg  212-543-6072

9. Located in New York City- This study will evaluate whether people with bulimia nervosa will binge eat in a structured laboratory setting and display behavioral patterns similar to those of individuals who are dependent on drugs.

Contact: Eating Disorder Clinic – 212-543-5739 

10. Located in Mason, OH- The purpose of this research study is to study the effectiveness, tolerability and safety of armodafinil in outpatients with binge eating disorder.  Contact: Susan McElroy, MD or Anna Guerdjikova, PhD

11.Chapel Hill, NC-  For the Latin American population suffering with eating disorders. Promoviendo Alimentacion Saludable (PAS)”Promoting Healthy Eating” is a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The purpose of this study is to develop and test a treatment for eating disorders in Latina adults that is appropriate for their age and includes culturally appropriate family intervention.

Contact: Mae Lynn Reyes, Ph.D.     919-966-7358 

12. New York City– For people who engage both in bulimia and heavy drinking- Participants will be asked to complete computer-administered and paper-and-pencil assessments and two laboratory test meals on separate days. By probing the underpinnings of BN and alcohol use disorders, the investigators can determine whether these disorders have a shared diathesis, which will lay an essential foundation for future research to examine biological and genetic correlates of these disorders. Finally, as little is known about the treatment of patients with BN and a co-occurring alcohol use disorder, an exploratory aim of the current study is evaluate the suitability and efficacy of a 20-session cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) addressing both bulimic symptoms and alcohol use.

Contact: Robyn Sysko, Ph.D.     212-543-5739   

Contact: Robyn Sysko, Ph.D.     212-543-5739   

13. Located in Gentofte, Denmark.  This study has 5 months of group therapy. The trial aims to investigate the impact of continuous feedback on dropout and outcome in group therapy. The hypothesis is that continuous feedback to patient and therapist on treatment progress and alliance will 1) reduce the number of dropouts and 2) increase treatment outcome.

Contact: Marianne E Lau, D.Sci. +453864531 —  or 

Annika H Davidsen, MSc. Psych. +4538645300


You can also go to and search under “binge eating, florida” or “anorexia, new york” or “bulimia, california” etc. Type in the type of study you’re interested in and the location. Definitely add to the comments if you find anything of note. 



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