Anorexia is a serious mental illness that comes with dangerous consequences. It’s also more common than we realize: Twenty million women and 10 million men will suffer an eating disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. The most popular form of treatment, talk therapy, is successful 20-30 percent of the time. Now, new research from King’s College London (KCL) suggests stimulating parts of the brain can reduce anorexia symptoms and improve the decision-making process in patients with the disorder.
Prior research traces anorexia back to the brain. One study suggests brain size is related to eating disorders, while a second study found anorexic patients have significantly greater activity in a brain region associated with habitual behavior. So it makes sense researchers from KCL would investigate the effects repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has on anorexic patients.