Prof. Maya Balakrishnan

Prof. Maya Balakrishnan

Dr. Balakrishan is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She is the Director of Hepatology and staff physician at Ben Taub Hospital. Her research focuses on common liver diseases that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. She runs the program in fatty liver disease at Ben Taub General Hospital. She received her MD from Harvard Medical School. She completed residency, chief residency, and gastroenterology/hepatology fellowship at Yale School of Medicine.

PROF. MAYA BALAKRISHNAN-19

Psychological Aspects of Health Behaviors in NAFLD

Several cognitive and psychological factors influence behavioral change and weight loss success. Most patients with NAFLD have adverse cognitive-behavioral profiles and 20-25% have co-existing mental illness. Without targeted intervention, behavior change is unlikely. Data shows that standard of care is ineffective. By intervening on cognitive determinants, we can promote healthy behavior and improve weight loss as cognitive strategies exist. We also need to translate and implement obesity behavioral research to patients with NAFLD. 
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PROF. MAYA BALAKRISHNAN-19

Psychological factors of health behaviors in NAFLD

When talking about the psychology in NAFLD, standard of care is an integral part of behavioral changes. Professionals need to explore avenues in terms of satisfying patients by their psychological profile for behavioral change. They also need to assess the presence and monitor the progression of depression as well as binge eating. These patients need adjunctive therapy / treatment for mental illness. Identifying patients according to high, medium or low risk cognitive profiles in terms of mental illness will help mitigate risk and provide adequate support. There are common elements that can be used to link obesity behavioral research to NAFLD.
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PROF. MAYA BALAKRISHNAN-19

PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF HEALTH BEHAVIOURS IN NAFLD (NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE)

Data shows that NAFLD patients had adverse cognitive behavioural profiles and some have co-existing mental illnesses. Therefore healthcare professionals need to implement targeted intervention strategies in order to ensure behaviour change. She further says that standard of care is ineffective however by intervening on cognitive determinants we can promote healthy behaviours and weight loss. For clinicians, Prof. Balakrishnan mentions that we need to translate cognitive strategies and implement obesity behavioural research to patients with NAFLD. 
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