We are very excited to share that our non-profit affiliate, the Foundation for Education and Research in Eating Disorders (FREED), has partnered with the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC) at McLean Hospital to launch a very important initiative.

FREED and HBTRC announced today that they have established the first and only national brain bank dedicated to the research of eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Brain Bank will be a resource to the community in order to help advance studies to improve our understanding and ability to treat these conditions.

FREED, previously known as the Walden Center for Education and Research (WCER), was established in 2012 to provide education, awareness and support to those impacted by eating disorders. The mission of FREED is to help determine the causes and risks associated with developing eating disorders, facilitate the development of treatments for the condition, and promote education, prevention and recovery from these illnesses.

“Eating disorders are associated with the highest rates of health problems, death and suicide among all mental illnesses, but it remains unclear as to what causes these conditions and who are at risk,” notes Dr. Kevin St. P. McNaught, Executive Director of FREED. “The brain bank will allow researchers to explore the central nervous system to gain a better understanding of the biology of eating disorders.”

The HBTRC is internationally renowned as a brain tissue repository for neurological and psychiatric brain disorders, including several focused brain collections. “We have long recognized the need to develop similar resources to support research into eating disorders, and are delighted to establish this partnership with FREED,” said Dr. Sabina Berretta, Scientific Director of the HBTRC.

In the coming months and years, FREED hopes to drive innovations and advancements within this field which will lead to breakthrough treatments and elevate the chances of lasting recovery.

To learn more about this exciting partnership or how you can get involved, please visit FREED’s website.