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Psychodynamic Psychiatry for Eating Disorders Study and Treatment



The research group on psychodynamic psychiatry and the treatment of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, obesity) is focused on the study of pathogenetic mechanisms underlying these disorders and their treatment.

To  study these disorders, the neuro-psychodynamic model provides a conceptual framework for the interpretation of subjective experience of patients, for the study of their relational environment and for the understanding of the neuro- and the psycho-development which led to the disease.

The research, often carried out according to the model of action-research, are aimed to define some aspects of the pathogenesis (genetic, familiar, individual), the role played by some key symptoms (such asceticism, drive to thinness, etc.) and neuropsychological factors in maintaining disorders, the response to multimodal, psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological treatments and some emotional and cognitive aspects.

In connection with the research group of prof. Cloninger and Svrachic of Washington University in St .Louis, and with Professor Kaye of UCSD, the working group researches on the psycho-biological model of personality by defining specific personality profiles in patients with eating disorders.

The study of personality traits is extended to young teenagers still with food subthreshold symptoms or overt disease at an early age.

Particular attention is spent in search of evidence of effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapies applied at the center, in the outpatient and DH.

Most therapies involve treatment-resistant patients with protracted course: chronicity and pathology in its extreme forms are studied during hospitalization at the Department.

Finally, the group research, by neuroimaging techniques, the impaired functioning of brain circuits underlying the food psychopathology and the modifications of these circuits as a result of therapy.


Group’s ERC Sectors:

LS5_12 - Psychiatric disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, autism, Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

LS7_9 - Public health and epidemiology

SH4_4 - Cognitive and experimental psychology: perception, action, and higher cognitive processes


Brambilla F, Dalle Grave R, Amianto F, Fassino S. (2014) Lack of efficacy of psychological and pharmacological treatments of disorders of eating behavior: neurobiological background. BMC psychiatry 14(1) 10 [DOI  PMID]

Lavagnino L, Amianto F, Parasiliti Caprino M, Maccario M, Arvat E, Ghigo E, Abbate Daga G, Fassino S. (2014) Urinary cortisol and psychopathology in obese binge eating subjects. Appetite 83 112-6 [DOI  PMID]

Lavagnino L, Amianto F, D'Agata F, Huang Z, Mortara P, Abbate-Daga G, Marzola E, Spalatro A, Fassino S, Northoff G. (2014) Reduced resting-state functional connectivity of the somatosensory cortex predicts psychopathological symptoms in women with bulimia nervosa. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience 8 270 [DOI  PMID]

Bo S, Zoccali R, Ponzo V, Soldati L, De Carli L, Benso A, Fea E, Rainoldi A, Durazzo M, Fassino S, Abbate-Daga G. (2014) University courses, eating problems and muscle dysmorphia: are there any associations? Journal of translational medicine 12 221 [DOI  PMID]

Abbate-Daga G, Buzzichelli S, Marzola E, Amianto F, Fassino S. (2014) Clinical investigation of set-shifting subtypes in anorexia nervosa. Psychiatry research 219(3) 592-7 [DOI  PMID]

Abbate-Daga G, Facchini F, Marzola E, Delsedime N, Giovannone C, Amianto F, Fassino S. (2014) Health-related quality of life in adult inpatients affected by anorexia nervosa. European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association 22(4) 285-91 [DOI  PMID]

Leombruni P, Rocca G, Fassino S, Gastaldi F, Nicotra B, Siccardi S, Lavagnino L. (2014) An exploratory study to subtype obese binge eaters by personality traits.Psychotherapy and psychosomatics 83(2) 114-8 [DOI  PMID]

Amianto F, Bellicanta A, Bergui GC, Zuccolin M, Abbate-Daga G, Fassino S. (2013) [Growing up with congenital heart disease: neurocognitive outcome, psychopathology and quality of life]. Rivista di psichiatria 48(6) 415-31 [DOI  PMID]

Fassino S, Amianto F, Sobrero C, Abbate Daga G. (2013) Does it exist a personality core of mental illness? A systematic review on core psychobiological personality traits in mental disorders. Panminerva medica 55(4) 397-413 [PMID]

Fassino S, Abbate-Daga G. (2013) Resistance to treatment in eating disorders: a critical challenge. BMC psychiatry 13 282 [DOI  PMID]

Abbate-Daga G, Amianto F, Delsedime N, De-Bacco C, Fassino S. (2013) Resistance to treatment and change in anorexia nervosa [corrected]: a clinical overview. BMC psychiatry 13 294 [DOI  PMID]

Amianto F, Bertorello A, Spalatro A, Milazzo M, Signa C, Cavarero S, Abbate Daga G, Fassino S. (2014) Adlerian parental counseling in eating disorders: preliminary data of a controlled clinical trial. Eating and weight disorders : EWD 19(3) 303-14 [DOI  PMID]

Amianto F, Caroppo P, D'Agata F, Spalatro A, Lavagnino L, Caglio M, Righi D, Bergui M, Abbate-Daga G, Rigardetto R, Mortara P, Fassino S. (2013) Brain volumetric abnormalities in patients with anorexia and bulimia nervosa: a voxel-based morphometry study. Psychiatry research 213(3) 210-6 [DOI  PMID]

Delsedime N, Nicotra B, Giovannone MC, Marech L, Barosio M, Marzola E, Abbate-Daga G, Fassino S. (2013) Psychotic symptoms in a woman with severe Anorexia Nervosa : psychotic symptoms in Anorexia Nervosa. Eating and weight disorders : EWD 18(1) 95-8 [DOI  PMID]

Amianto F, Daga GA, Bertorello A, Fassino S. (2013) Exploring personality clusters among parents of ED subjects. Relationship with parents' psychopathology, attachment, and family dynamics. Comprehensive psychiatry 54(7) 797-811 [DOI  PMID]

Amianto F, D'Agata F, Lavagnino L, Caroppo P, Abbate-Daga G, Righi D, Scarone S, Bergui M, Mortara P, Fassino S. (2013) Intrinsic connectivity networks within cerebellum and beyond in eating disorders. Cerebellum (London, England) 12(5) 623-31 [DOI  PMID]

Abbate-Daga G, Delsedime N, Nicotra B, Giovannone C, Marzola E, Amianto F, Fassino S. (2013) Psychosomatic syndromes and anorexia nervosa. BMC psychiatry 13 14 [DOI  PMID]

Amianto F, Laguzzi S, Sobrero C, Marzola E, Abbate Daga G, Fassino S. (2012) The borderline personality organization in a dimensional perspective: the TCI and SWAP-200 in comparison. Panminerva medica 54(4) 283-92 [PMID]

Amianto F, Siccardi S, Abbate-Daga G, Marech L, Barosio M, Fassino S. (2012) Does anger mediate between personality and eating symptoms in bulimia nervosa?Psychiatry research 200(2-3) 502-12 [DOI  PMID]

Abbate-Daga G, Marzola E, Gramaglia C, Brustolin A, Campisi S, De-Bacco C, Amianto F, Fassino S. (2012) Emotions in eating disorders: changes of anger control after an emotion-focused day hospital treatment. European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association 20(6) 496-501 [DOI  PMID]

Last update: 24/08/2015 14:36
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