Feb 25, 2017 08:57 AM EST
Deep Brain Stimulation For Anorexia Therapy A Possibility
Deep brain stimulation or neurostimulation, is the purposeful modulation of the nervous system using non-invasive and invasive procedures. In a recent study, using implanted stimulation electrodes may be the solution to ease certain psychological issues, like anorexia.
A small study involving deep brain stimulation considered 16 people with severe anorexia. The implanted stimulation electrodes were found to ease these patients' body issues anxiety and at the same time helped them gain weight.
Andres Lozano, a professor from the University of Toronto who leads the study, says that deep brain stimulation could help minimize and eventually zero out the psychiatric disorder. He explains that the disorder has the highest mortality rate and the medical community sees an urgent need to develop safe and evidence-driven treatments found in understanding the brain, as reported by Fox News.
In the deep brain stimulation study, researchers found that the procedure has helped reduce anxiety and depression. In a way, it has improved their quality of life. A few months after the study, follow-ups showed that the patients had changes in weight. The body mass of the 16 anorexic individuals increased by 3.5 points.
While many may see that the procedure is sensitive, the research team is confident that this can help solve the serious eating disorder that affects about 0.5 percent of people around the world. Teenage girls who have body issues - on their weight, size and shape - can be saved.
The deep brain stimulation study is already published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. This is not the first time deep brain stimulation is used to solve nervous system disorders and illnesses. This same technique is also being used to treat Parkinson's disease, dystonia and tremors which most studies consider safe, as reported by Medical Xpress.
Lozano says that while deep brain stimulation may look promising for anorexia therapy, further study and research is still needed.
The Wall Street Journal video below features how deep brain stimulation works on Parkinson's disease:
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