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Leicestershire, UK
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25 February 2010 | PR 10/29

Loughborough receives international funding to tackle compulsive exercising amongst anorexia nervosa patients

An international Loughborough University study that aims to treat compulsive exercising amongst anorexia nervosa patients has received £350,000 funding from Australia’s National Health Medical Research Council.

The project has also been adopted by the UK Mental Health Research Network which will lead to additional funding from the NHS.

LEAP - Loughborough Eating disorders Activity theraPy – is a novel form of psychological treatment devised by PhD student Lorin Taranis and Dr Caroline Meyer at the University’s Centre for Research into Eating Disorders (LUCRED) and is the only treatment in existence worldwide designed to tackle compulsive exercising amongst eating disorder sufferers.

High activity levels are recognised as a key component of eating disorders and existing research has demonstrated that compulsive exercisers require a longer length of hospitalisation and have poorer clinical outcomes than their non-excessive counterparts.

Despite this, little research has previously been conducted into the treatment of this symptom of anorexia nervosa.

Loughborough’s academics are working with colleagues at the Leicester Eating Disorders Service and the University of Sydney in Australia to undertake an international treatment trial that will measure the effectiveness of LEAP alongside existing treatments.

Director of LUCRED Dr Caroline Meyer hopes the LEAP intervention will help speed up recovery for anorexia nervosa patients with excessive exercise profiles.

 “We are confident we will be able to improve chances of recovery from anorexia nervosa by changing patients’ exercise cognitions” she explained. “By doing this we hope to positively change the rate at which patients respond to treatment, such as earlier weight gain, increased motivation and improvements in their eating-related attitudes and quality of life in general.”

Dr Jon Arcelus, Consultant at the Leicester Eating Disorders Service added “There is a globally identified need to improve treatments for anorexia nervosa and their success rates, given the chronic nature of the disease and its high mortality rate”.


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T : 01509 228686
E: A.J Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1.   LUCRED supports the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week which runs from 22-28 February and is led by eating disorders charity Beat. For more information log onto www.b-eat.co.uk

2.   Loughborough’s eating disorder experts are available for media interviews. Please contact Amanda Overend for more information.

3.   Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday September 21, 2011 10:46