Brain Stimulation to Treat Anorexia
By: Katie Lehan
Author: Traci Pedersen
Source: Psych Central
Publication Date: March 25, 2016
This article discusses a study that was conducted to test a new non-invasive brain treatment that is thought to help decrease the occurrence of symptoms associated with anorexia nervosa. The treatment is called transcranial stimulation (rTMS), which “targets the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain thought to be involved in some of the self-regulation difficulties associated with anorexia” (qtd. in Pedersen). The purpose of the study was to do a before and after treatment comparison of the anorexic symptoms as well as decision making abilities between participants receiving a real rTMS treatment versus the ones receiving a placebo, or fake treatment (decision making abilities was a factor because anorexic individuals tend to be more impulsive). The researchers found no change in the symptoms and decision making of those who received the placebo. However, in the participants that underwent the real treatment, “One session of rTMS reduced the urge to restrict food intake, levels of feeling full, and levels of feeling fat, as well as encouraging more prudent decision-making” (qtd. in Pedersen). Due to the positive outcomes of the clinical trial, those who conducted the study are researching further to determine if multiple sessions of the rTMS treatment will prove to have a long-lasting effect on those with anorexia nervosa.
Pedersen, T. (2016). Brain Stimulation Improves Symptoms of Anorexia. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 1, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2016/03/25/brain-stimulation-improves-symptoms-of-anorexia/100918.html