While cruising CBC.ca and reading up on the sad passing of Stompin' Tom Connors, I saw this headline as well: Brain 'pacemakers' promising for anorexia treatment. Intrigued I read on and what I read makes me hopeful.
For the worst sufferers of anorexia, those with many relapses and hospital visits who are unable to return to a healthy body weight or relationship to food, these brain pacemakers may be the key. The study was very small and not meant to test the effectiveness of the treatment, only the safety of it, but in three of the six participants there was a huge improvement and they were able to maintain a greater body weight than before.
Alanis Morisette is a Canadian singer/songwriter who has recovered from anorexia.
From The Lancet (the whole study is behind a pay-wall, unfortunately): DBS was associated with improvements in mood, anxiety, affective regulation, and anorexia nervosa-related obsessions and compulsions in four patients and with improvements in quality of life in three patients after 6 months of stimulation.
This is all great news, as anorexia will actually kill you if left untreated, unlike say, being fat. I'll be keeping my eyes out for more deep brain stimulation news and let you know what comes up!