Timko Research Group

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The Timko Research Group is a dynamic research group examining a range of topics related to eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa and malnutrition.

Cognitive Remediation Therapy: The goal of this study was to examine the feasibility of using Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) as a pre-treatment intervention with adolescents with anorexia nervosa during an inpatient stay for medical stabilization. Adolescents received up to 8 sessions of CRT while hospitalized.

The Timko Research Group also included a parent involvement component. In one group (Teach the Parent), adolescents conducted up to 4 CRT sessions with a parent; in the other, adolescents conducted up to 4 sessions of Family Fun Time (positive interactions with parents that do not involve the eating disorder). A control condition included standard treatment. The study recruitment and follow-ups are complete. Data analysis and publications are ongoing.

Reward and Punishment in Eating Disorders: There are documented disruptions in reward and punishment sensitivity in eating disorders. The lab is examining this in a variety of studies. In addition to questionnaire-based research, the lab is examining social reward and avoidance of punishment via an Incentive Delay Task. Adolescents complete the IDT while undergoing a functional MRI. Funded by the BIRCWH program through the NIH, the latter study also includes males in an attempt to understand sex differences in reward circuity in adolescents with anorexia. Participant recruitment and data entry is ongoing.

Retrospective Chart Reviews: Retrospective chart review (RCR) is a research methodology using existing patient-centered data to answer specific research questions. RCRs allow researchers to leverage data to examine clinically relevant questions – results can be used to inform practice and subsequent prospective studies. A systematic review poses a research question, identifies inclusion and exclusion criteria, collects empirical evidence that fits the pre-specified eligibility criteria, all in order to answer the research question. The Timko Research Group is currently undertaking two systematic reviews related to their research foci, a number of others are planned and are an excellent opportunity for research assistants to have in-depth exposure to a topic of interest.

Leader

C. Alix Timko, PhD

Psychologist
Dr. Timko is a psychologist and researcher focused on understanding the development and maintenance of eating disorders in adolescents. Currently, her interest is in the neurobiology of anorexia, the role of neurocognition in eating disorder maintenance, sex differences in eating disorders, and the development of new treatments for youth with eating disorders.