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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa (AN);
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS);
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)

Abstract

Background

Advances in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN) are most likely to arise from targeted, brain-directed treatments, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). We describe findings from two individuals with treatment-resistant AN who received 19–20 sessions of neuronavigated, high frequency rTMS, applied to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Method

Within-session measures assessed changes pre-rTMS, post-rTMS in subjective eating disorder (ED) experiences. Weight, ED symptoms and mood were assessed pre-treatment, post-treatment and at 1 month follow-up.

Results

In both cases, there was improvement in ED symptomatology and mood after 19–20 sessions of neuronavigated rTMS, and these changes persisted or continued to improve at follow-up. Within sessions, Patient A demonstrated a consistent reduction in subjective ED experiences, and Patient B a reduction in some ED related experiences.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that rTMS has potential as an adjunct to the treatment of AN and deserves further study. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.