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Practical Neurobiology for Clinicians

Thursday, February 27, 2014: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Palm (TradeWinds )

Background: This presentation explores how neuroscience can help clinicians have a deeper understanding of those they treat. Learning the history of how eating disorders have been diagnosed and theories of how neuroarchitecture could inform behavior and response to treatment are vital pieces of information to help close the research-practice gap.

Content Outline for IADEP 2014


  • History of psychiatric diagnosis
    • Pre-DSM
    • The progression of DSM
    • Present nomenclature
    • How present diagnosis limits neurobiology research and treatment
  • Research Domain Criteria – challenges for the future
    •  Challenge by NMH and Dr. Insel
    • Ideas of neurocircuits as basis for illness
    • Idea of Biosignatures for diagnosis 
    • Comparison to rest of medicine and how it will guide future diagnosis and treatment
  • Current Diagnostic Criteria for Eating Disorders DSM V
    • Anorexia
    • Bulimia
    • Eating Disorder NOS
  • Trait Based Risks
    • Anorexic traits
    • Bulimic traits
    • Genetics
    • What exposures trigger change from trait to illness
  • State Based Risks
    • Why do Anorexics keep doing it
    • Why do Bulimics Keep doing it
  •  Neurobiology of Eating Disorders
    • Neurobiology in Anorexia
    • Neurobiology in Bulimia
  • Interaction of Neurobiology and psychopharmacology
    • Medications we use in the practice of eating disorders
    • Practical implications of their use in comorbidity
    • Hope for medications which address core symptoms of eating disorders
  •  Audience Participation
    • Brain Wave for anorexia and Bulimia – example of neurocircuits acted out by participants
    • Illustration with audience participation of how state and trait based conditions guide therapy and movement with eating disorder patients

With over 100 million neurons supporting trillions of connections, processes of the human brain are a manifestation of genetic variation, natural selection, and the environments in which our ancestors lived.  Due to the significance of food to our survival and the ensuing evolutionary pressures, a significant portion of the human brain is dedicated to the motivational, emotional, hedonic and cognitive information processing that supports decisions about when, what, and how much we eat.  Given the complexity of these neural systems, it should come as no surprise that aberrations in their activity and neuroarchitecture can lead to a variety of pathologic eating behaviors.  The way in which these behaviors have been pathologized and treated has changed greatly over the past 100 years. 

Recently, Family Behavioral Therapy has proven that for clinicians and families alike understanding some of the conditions in the brain can shift focus away from “blaming” families and individuals and focus through strength based solutions ways to help patients and families function in the best way possible.  This presentation explores how neuroscience can help in the day-to-day process of walking with individuals on their journey to recovery.  Learning the history of how and why eating disorders have been diagnosed and theories of how neuroarchitecture could inform behavior and response to treatment are vital pieces of information that every clinician needs in order to help those that seek out their services.  At times there can be a gap between the core of the science research, and how this is translated in a way that can be used by clinicians on a day in and day out basis.  My hope is this presentation starts the conversation of using current neurobiology to inform the daily practice of treating patients.   This presentation uses PowerPoint, diagrams and experiential audience participation in order demystify some of the fascinating world of neurobiologic research happening around the world today.

Primary Presenter:
Scott E. Moseman, MD

Dr. Moseman attended medical school at Texas A&M University and completed adult residency at the University of Arizona. He went on to do a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic where he served as chief fellow. Since completing fellowship in 2004, he has worked at the Laureate Eating Disorders Program on both an inpatient and outpatient basis and is currently Medical Director of the eating disorders program. Dr. Moseman is also an investigator at the Laureate Institute of Brain Research where he participates in studies using functional imaging to investigate eating related illnesses.

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