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A Study of
Children and adolescents with Avoidant/Restrictive Eating


10-23 year old males and females with ARFID

(Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) and healthy controls

Study Aims

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is characterized by restrictive food intake for reasons that are not associated with weight and shape concerns. Individuals with ARFID may exhibit avoidance of foods due to a prior choking incident, sensory sensitivities, and/or chronic low appetite and little interest in eating.


Our study aims to investigate how ARFID can affect different hormones and regions of the brain. In this study, we use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), psychological assessments, and evaluation of hormones in the blood to better understand brain and hormone activity, as well as behavioral markers, of ARFID.


This is a longitudinal study, which means we will monitor participants with ARFID over the course of two years. We hope to identify mechanisms that might influence what might contribute to the development and recovery of ARFID, and how this might differ among individuals in the study.


Healthy volunteers (males and females, 10-23 years old) can also participate in this study, and they will be monitored for two study visits only (not more than 3 months apart).


This study will improve the existing knowledge of ARFID, as it is a newly defined disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as of 2013. We hope that our findings may improve treatment options for those with ARFID.

***Please note that as of 10/21/2020, we are only recruiting participants with avoidant/restrictive eating ages 18-23 and male healthy control participants ages 10-14. Thank you!***

If you are eligible and interested in the study, we will contact you to schedule a screening visit. This visit will help us determine if you are eligible beyond what we can learn from you over the phone. 

Study Visits
Total Compensation up to $500 for participants with avoidant/restrictive eating
and up to $300 for healthy control participants
Screening Visit (all participants):
  • History, Physical Exam, and Bloodwork

  • Psychological assessments

  • MRI pre-screen safety questionnaire

Baseline Visit (all participants):
  • History, Physical, and Bloodwork

  • ​Psychological Assessments

  • MRI scans

  • Behavioral assessments

  • Breakfast meal

1 Year and 2 Year Follow Up Visits
(only participants with avoidant/restrictive eating):
  • History, Physical, and Bloodwork

  • ​Psychological Assessments

Kamryn Eddy, PhD
Madhusmita Misra, MD
Laura Holsen, PhD
Tom Hildebrandt, PsyD*
Melissa Freizinger, PhD**
Principal Investigators: 
Jennifer Thomas, PhD
Elizabeth Lawson, MD
Nadia Micali, MD, PhD***
*Mount Sinai School of Medicine
**Boston Children's Hospital
***University of Geneva
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