Mirasol clinicians were recently featured at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Psychiatry Grand Rounds. Speakers included Medical Director Stephen Remolina, Executive Director Diane Ryan, Clinical Director Maeve Shaughnessy, Nutrition Director Anne Ganje and Trauma Therapist Ann Twilley Garcia.
The purpose of the Psychiatry Grand Rounds series is to provide mental health professionals with updates on psychiatric topics with the goal of increasing knowledge, competence and patient care. The full presentation is available on the Univeristy of Arizona's Biomedical Communications website at https://streaming.biocom.arizona.edu/event/?id=27374.
Ryan highlights some of the latest research on eating disorders, especially binge eating disorder. Ongoing research has shown that the suicidality associated with binge eating disorder can presage more serious psychological disorders later in life. Ryan also notes that contrary to popular belief, there is very little evidence that anti-depressants are effective in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
CBT remains the gold standard for treatment interventions, but it's not enough. Ryan says that "because of the complexity of eating disorders, we need to employ many different treatment approaches."
Insomnia and PTSD are among the most common disorders that co-occur with eating disorders. Ryan estimates that about 80% of Mirasol's residential clients suffer from some form of PTSD or insomnia, and recent research indicates that there may be a bidirectional relationship. While there's a lot of research on genetics, so far no specific gene has been identified for anorexia. However, there appears to be a 50% to 75% heritability factor for binge eating disorder. New studies show rising incidence of eating disorders in the LGBTQ population.
Barriers to effective treatment include the general stigma associated with all mental illnesses, lack of knowledge of the medical consequences and lack of familiarity with treatment options and resources.Ryan concludes with a list of "dos" and "don'ts" for evaluating and treating eating disorder clients.