Shared and differential neurocognitive mechanisms in obesity and binge eating disorder from adolescence to adulthood: an attempt to improve prediction of clinical outcome (Dr. Lorenz Deserno)

Individuals suffering from obesity and binge eating disorder (BED) repeat health-damaging decisions, which is associated with enormous subjective suffering and high economic burden for health systems. A key problem is that clinicians treating these patients so far do not have reliable and objective tools available to predict clinical outcome. This represents a severe disadvantage as both disorders have high rates of onset in adolescence and early adulthood leading to long and detrimental disease trajectories. Very recently, neurocognitive research utilizing task-based functional neuroimaging has started to understand the deficits of these patients in making flexible goal-directed decisions.

Despite this recent progress, the shared and differential neurocognitive mechanisms underlying severely maladaptive behaviours observed in obesity and BED during adolescence and adulthood have so far not been studied systematically. Thus, it remains a major challenge to determine predictors of clinical outcome based on the neurocognitive mechanisms of decision-making involved in obesity and BED. Here, we propose a first longitudinal study targeting this question in a cohort of adolescent and adult obesity with and without BED as well as lean controls by studying neurocognitive mechanisms of decision-making during functional neuroimaging. Understanding the shared and differential neurocognitive mechanisms of BED and obesity is key to reach targeted and precise health care in terms of objective measures for clinical outcome prediction, differential diagnosis, and eventually differential treatment.

Duration: 01.11.2017 – 30.04.2020


Head of project

Dr. Lorenz Deserno

Member: student career board
Head of project

+49 341 9940-2220

lorenz [dot] deserno [at] medizin [dot] uni-leipzig [dot] de