Anorexia Nervosa Treatment: Brain Stimulation Can Reduce Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa, Researchers Say
A recent research which was conducted by the British researchers suggested that brain stimulation can help people with anorexia nervosa. The study claimed that with persistent treatment, the anorexic patients can be treated from the life-threatening eating disorder and eventually live a normal life.
What Is Anorexia Nervosa?
According to National Eating Disorders, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. Anorexic people have an intense fear of weight gain. Hence, people with anorexia end up starving themselves or involve themselves in binge eating just to stay thin when they are not even really fat. As a result, most people with anorexia have a distorted image, as per NHS.
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A group of researchers from King's College said symptoms of anorexia can be lessened with the help of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. rTMS is a treatment that is normally used to treat patients who are suffering from depression.
"We found one session of rTMS reduced urge to restrict food intake, levels of feeling full, and levels of feeling fat, encouraging more prudent decision-making," Jessica McClelland, who headed the research team said, according to Tech Times. "Taken together, these findings suggest brain stimulation may reduce anorexia symptoms by improving cognitive control over compulsive features of disorder."
Hunger versus reward | How do people with anorexia nervosa control their appetite? http://t.co/TqZAiKY6FP pic.twitter.com/gHI8XAXaPH — Steven Gielis (@stevengielis) Marso 24, 2015
How Does rTMS Work?
In a report published by NH Voice, McClelland explained rTMS delivers magnetic pulses to the specific areas of the human brains and it alters the activity of the nerve cells. Talking about its effects, McClelland said the group discovered after one session of the said treatment, people with anorexia showed significant improvements, including levels of feeling full and the patients with anorexia are making more prudent decisions.
The importance of the study
Study senior author Ulrike Schmidt, a professor from Kings College London said anorexia nervosa greatly affects women and it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat. "Our preliminary findings support the potential of novel brain-directed treatments for anorexia, which are desperately needed," Schmidt said.