A Study of
Children and adolescents with Avoidant/Restrictive Eating


10-22 year old males and females with ARFID

(Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)

Study Aim

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, 10-22 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). We hope that our findings may improve treatment options for those with ARFID.

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 $450 for participants with avoidant/restrictive eating and up to $300 for healthy control participants

Initial Screening Visit

  • History, physical, & blood work

  • Psychological assessment

  • MRI pre-screen safety questionnaire

Baseline (Main) Visit

1-year and 2-year Followup Visits (Only for subjects with ARFID)

  • History, physical, & blood work

  • Psychological assessment

  • MRI scans

  • Behavioral assessment

  • Breakfast and a snack

  • History, physical, & blood work

  • Psychological assessment

Study Coordinator: 

Jenny Jo

(617) 643-3619


Nurse Practitioner:
Kristine Hauser
(617) 724-2235


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*


Principal Investigators:
Jennifer Thomas, PhD
Elizabeth Lawson, MD
Nadia Micali, MD, PhD*


*Mount Sinai School of Medicine
**Boston Children's Hospital

© 2013 MGH Adolescent Neuroendocrine Unit.

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