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Bulimia Symptoms May Be Reduced by Electrical Simulation

Update Date: Feb 01, 2017 07:10 AM EST

Bulimia nervosa is currently being treated by psychological ways. However, researchers believe that stimulating the mind through electricity might be the best possible solution in treating and suppressing the symptoms of bulimia.

A new research conducted by a team at the King's College London revealed that they are looking into reducing brain triggers for binge eating via a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, Independent UK reports. The urge to binge is one of the key symptoms of bulimia, an eating disorder that is identified with binge-eating followed by self-induced vomiting, extreme dieting and other techniques to counteract the effects that comes with increased food intake.

The behavior is believed to be driven by an individual's overall concern with their body shape and weight, leading to compulsive decisions until they manage to achieve the look that they desire. Bulimia is considered as a form of addiction as well.

By altering how the brain pathways function, the research reveals that it may be possible to normalize these pathways via electric stimulation like tDCS or transcranial direct current stimulation. Weak electrical currents enter the brain may induce self-control over binge eating and other eating disorder symptoms.

Results of the experiments showed that the symptoms attributed with bulimia were significantly reduced through tDCS. The subjects also showed more sensible decisions and better self-control over their eating urges and self-esteem as reported by Huffington Post UK.

Although the initial experiment displayed temporary results for the 39 test subjects, the team in London is considering repeating the experiment in a larger sample with multiple treatments for a longer period to be able to explore the possibilities of such treatments.

At present, bulimia is very common among adolescent women and n their lifespan, 2 percent of these women might experience the disorder in some stages of their lives. A 4 percent mortality rate is also recorded for individuals who suffers from the disorder. Developments of the potentials of electrical stimulation in preventing bulimia symptoms may help in reducing this number in the future.

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