Electrical devices implanted in the brain may help treat anorexia

Nerve cells

Certain brain circuits may underlie the symptoms of anorexia nervosa

ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Some women with severe anorexia have returned to a healthy weight and feel less anxious and depressed after having electrical devices implanted into their brains, according to a small study. But more research is needed before the treatment can be recommended for wider use.

About one in five people with anorexia nervosa, who are mostly women, die of the illness and there is a lack of effective treatments. Imaging studies suggest that certain brain circuits may underlie the fear of gaining weight and compulsion to self-starve. …

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