Improvements in Symptoms Following Neuronavigated Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa: Findings from two Case Studies




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.


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.


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.


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.