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Presented at 2018 iaedp™ Symposium: Brain Activity Findings Lead to New Eating Disorder Treatments

  (February 09, 2018)
Presented at 2018 iaedp™ Symposium: Brain Activity Findings Lead to New Eating Disorder Treatments

Humans are instilled with a survival instinct and their bodies are made to survive, instinctively breathing, blinking, sneezing and even jumping from the path of a moving vehicle. Yet the brains of those with and recovered from eating disorders have subtle and impactful differences from those who have never struggled with the disorder. The brains of people who suffer with eating disorders have a different reward response and react differently to feedback.

At this year's iaedp™ Symposium, slated for March 22 – 25 at the Omni at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida, a series of research presentations will outline key recent advances in learning about signals that go awry in the brains of people who suffer from eating disorders and how to move forward toward successful recovery.

In the presentation, “The Brain That Changes Itself and Eating Disorders," Norman Doidge, MD, FRCPC, discusses that the discovery of neuroplasticity-that thought and mental experience can change brain structure and function-is the most important change in understanding of the brain in 400 years. According to Dr. Doidge, the human brain is not hardwired, or hardware, or computers or machines. In fact, what humans do changes their brains, for the better or the worse. During his presentation, Dr. Doidge will point out that the discovery of neuroplasticity raises the question, how might these discoveries affect understanding and improve treatment of eating disorders? Using films of people with what were thought to be incurable neurological and psychiatric conditions, this lecture will explain the basics of plasticity, brain map change and the five stages of neuroplastic healing, and then will discuss an integrated program to treat eating disorders that takes these into account.

In “Healing the Body and Brain Trapped in the Cycle of Bulimia or Binge-eating," presenters Tammy Beasley, RDN, CEDRD, CSSD, LD and W. Travis Steward, LPC, NCC, MATS, will discuss how to educate patients on activity in the brain and body, instruct on practical steps to rewire the brain and explore how these interventions can reduce shame and restore hope. Presenters also will show how individuals desiring recovery from bulimia and binge eating disorder often feel their bodies and brains are resisting recovery -- their brain and body have been hijacked and rewired so that binging is the new normal.

Functional neuroimaging is improving understanding of a variety of mental disorders and contributing to the development of innovative interventions. However, with the complexity encountered in both understanding and treating eating disorders, there have been contradictory findings when the functional brain imaging data regarding eating disorders is examined. In the workshop, “Treating the Eating Disordered Brain," presenters Ed Hamlin, PhD and Don Hebert, MFT, ThD, will not only clarify recent research finding, but also will review the existing neuroimaging data on eating disorders and discuss the problems with the existing evidence. In addition, Hamlin and Hebert will present new data obtained from individuals in a residential eating disorders program and discuss treatment applications across all levels of care.

Most eating disorder patients struggle with some degree of GI symptoms. The session, “The Gut Brain Axis and Eating Disorders: Understanding the Complex Relationship," will provide recent learning regarding the gut brain axis. Presenter Lesley Williams, MD, CEDS will explore how this current research can be clinically applied to eating disorder treatment.

More than 70 poster presentations and special networking and social events will take place during the 2018 Symposium. Many of the most noted eating disorders experts from around the U.S. and internationally will provide the latest treatment and research. For information about how to register for this year's iaedp™ Symposium, go to

About the iaedp™ Foundation: Since 1985, the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals has provided education and training standards to an international and multidisciplinary group of various healthcare treatment providers and helping professions. The Presidents Council provides leadership to the organization and includes: Center for Change; Eating Recovery Center; Green Mountain at Fox Run; Laureate Eating Disorders Program; La Ventana Treatment Programs; McCallum Place Eating Disorder Centers; Monte Nido & Affiliates; Pine Grove Women's Center; Remuda Ranch at the Meadows; Rogers Behavioral Health; Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders; Selah House; The Renfrew Center; Timberline Knolls; and Veritas Collaborative.

The iaedp™ Foundation proudly announces the supporting sponsors for the 2018 iaedp™ Symposium:
Silver and Event Sponsor: Avalon Hills
Bronze Sponsor: Breathe Life Healing Centers
Bronze Sponsor: Montecatini Eating Disorder Treatment Centers
Bronze Sponsor: Fairwinds Treatment Center
Bronze Sponsor: Pine Grove's Women's Center

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