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Dr. Sethi Dalai is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Metabolic Psychiatry Clinic, an emerging clinical discipline and focus she started in 2019. She is double board certified in Psychiatry and Obesity Medicine and has additional expertise in adult eating disorders. She completed her residency in Psychiatry at Stanford University and specialized training in obesity at Duke Medical Center. Dr. Sethi Dalai received her MD jointly from Duke University School of Medicine and National University of Singapore. She received a Masters degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Sethi Dalai’s approach to psychiatric treatment incorporates detection and treatment of metabolic abnormalities, principles of obesity medicine, nutrition and metabolism. She was awarded funding by the Obesity Treatment Foundation and Baszucki Brain Foundation as principal investigator to study the effectiveness of a low - carbohydrate ketogenic dietary intervention in an outpatient cohort of patients with obesity or metabolic dysfunction overlapping with bipolar illness or schizophrenia. In addition, she is a co-investigator on a pilot randomized clinical trial testing an FDA approved obesity medication for binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa at Stanford University funded by SPARK. She is a recipient of the Kuen Lau Bipolar Research Award and the Symonds Fellow Award from the Association of Women Psychiatrists for innovation in psychiatry and contributions to women’s health. She is a member of the Obesity Medicine Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and served on the council of the Northern California Psychiatric Association.
Improving metabolic and mental health through dietary interventions, pharmacological optimization, and other lifestyle means in those with severe mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia is a major focus of her research. Clinical and academic interests are also in the management of psychiatric disorders with co-morbid obesity, poor metabolic health and/or eating disorders, particularly binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.
Impact of a Ketogenic Diet on Metabolic and Psychiatric Health in Patients With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Illness
To initiate a low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) ketogenic dietary intervention among a small
cohort of outpatients with either schizophrenia or bipolar illness and comorbid
overweight/obesity currently taking psychotropic medications.
Adults with mental illness represent a high-risk, marginalized group in the current obesity
epidemic. Among US adults with severe mental illness, obesity and overweight are highly
prevalent conditions having severe consequences, with patients estimated to die on average 25
years earlier than the general population largely of premature cardiovascular disease. In
addition, many psychiatric medications, particularly antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, can
contribute to metabolic side effects and weight gain. Low-carbohydrate high-fat (LCHF) diets
have been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk in those with insulin resistance. The purpose
of this study is to evaluate both the metabolic and psychiatric outcomes with an LCHF diet in
this psychiatric population.
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FDA Approved Medication to Reduce Binge Eating and/or Purging
This study will demonstrate the efficacy of Qsymia versus placebo in treating bulimia nervosa
and binge eating disorder.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact Debra L Safer, MD, 650-723-7928.