Thursday, March 7, 2013
In the News: Brain Pacemaker May Help Treat Patients With Anorexia
The neurosurgical implant was used safely for the first time in six patients with severe and enduring anorexia after receiving no benefits from other known treatments.
The results were published in the journal The Lancet.
The procedure, referred to as deep brain stimulation (DBS), involves a device comparable to a pacemaker that becomes implanted into the brains of patients with anorexia.
DBS is currently used to treat a number of neurological disorders, such as chronic pain and Parkinson's disease. Results of a two-year clinical trial showed that DBS improves overall quality of life and social functioning in patients in earlier stages of Parkinson's disease.
Scientists are now conducting trials to examine its use for other disorders, such as epilepsy and depression. Researchers believe that obesity could be treated using DBS as well.
However, this is the first time that DBS has been used for the treatment of anorexia patients who have not responded to other therapies.
Although some surgery is needed, the experts explained, the treatment is minimally invasive and entirely reversible.
For the whole article: