Brain stimulation holds promise for anorexia

Anorexia nervosa is a devastating, often fatal disease, in which voluntary food restriction severely compromises physical and mental health. Because current treatments, such as psychotherapy, are only minimally effective, many disease victims fight a lifelong battle and most will never recover. However, recent research into the neural underpinnings of anorexia provides hope that relief may be possible by regulating aberrant neural circuitry. A new study published in PLOS One by Jessica McClelland and colleagues from King’s College London offers preliminary support for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a viable therapy for anorexia. Hitting reset to dysfunctional brain circuits Anorexia is characterized by maladaptive behavior, such as abnormal cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and habit learning, which has been linked to dysfunction in frontal, limbic and striatal brain networks. The prefrontal…


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