A recent study found that brain stimulation may ease anorexia symptoms. The researchers also found that the widespread eating disorder can be cured with persistent treatment.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) in the United States, between 0.5 to one percent of American females are suffering from anorexia nervosa. It is also the most common psychiatric diagnosis that torments young women today.
The health agency estimates that between five to 20 percent of anorexia nervosa patients will die, wherein the mortality rate surges with the length of the existing condition.
In the study conducted by King's College London researchers, it was found that brain stimulation through recurrent Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or rTMS can reduce anorexia symptoms. This type of brain stimulation is non-invasive, and is also an approved technique for depression treatment.
Other Promising Treatments
Other treatment methods include interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), both of which have been successful in the treatment of binge eating, a disorder that had been clinically and formally recognized in 2013.
In the IPT approach, specialists work with the base theory that a patient's relationships with the outside world and other people can improve mental health.
Anorexia may be linked to the anxiety, self-doubt and low self-esteem that are involved with the patient's interaction with other people. Using the IPT approach, therapists analyze and try to resolve the negative issues surrounding the patient's interpersonal relationships.
On the other hand, the CBT approach works with the theory that how a person thinks and feels affects how she acts. Using this method, therapists will try to encourage the patient to adopt a healthy and more realistic point of view that can result in better eating habits.
The cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) is another treatment for anorexia nervosa patients. CAT works with the theory that the eating disorder is caused by behavioral and thinking patterns developed in the past, often during childhood.
CAT has a three-stage approach: reformulation (analysis of past events), recognition (showing patients how these patterns affect their condition) and revision (looking for solutions that can alter bad habits).
CAT is somehow similar to another treatment, focal psychodynamic therapy (FPT). In the FPT approach, therapists help anorexia nervosa patients to determine how unresolved issues in childhood have affected their lives. The goal is to find ways on how to better cope with the situation or negative emotions.
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