Deep-Brain Stimulation for Anorexia Nervosa
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and severe, sometimes life-threatening, psychiatric disorder with high relapse rates under standard treatment. After decades of brain-lesioning procedures offered as a last resort, deep-brain stimulation (DBS) has come under investigation in the last few years as a treatment option for severe and refractory AN. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this jointly written article, Sun et al. (the Shanghai group) report an average of 65% increase in body weight in four severe and refractory patients with AN after they underwent the DBS procedure in (average follow-up, 38 months). All patients weighed greater than 85% of expected body weight and thus no longer met the diagnostic criteria of AN at last follow-up. Nuttin et al. (the Leuven group) describe other clinical studies that provide evidence for the use of DBS for AN and further discuss patient selection criteria, target selection, and adverse event of this evolving therapy. CONCLUSION: Preliminary results from the Shanghai group and other clinical centers showed that the use of DBS to treat AN may be a valuable option for weight restoration in otherwise-refractory and life-threatening cases. The nature of this procedure, however, remains investigational and should not be viewed as a standard clinical treatment option. Further scientific investigation is essential to warrant the long-term efficacy and safety of DBS for AN.
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ABSTRACT: Functional, molecular and genetic neuroimaging has highlighted the existence of brain anomalies and neural vulnerability factors related to obesity and eating disorders such as binge eating or anorexia nervosa. In particular, decreased basal metabolism in the prefrontal cortex and striatum as well as dopaminergic alterations have been described in obese subjects, in parallel with increased activation of reward brain areas in response to palatable food cues. Elevated reward region responsivity may trigger food craving and predict future weight gain. This opens the way to prevention studies using functional and molecular neuroimaging to perform early diagnostics and to phenotype subjects at risk by exploring different neurobehavioral dimensions of the food choices and motivation processes. In the first part of this review, advantages and limitations of neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), pharmacogenetic fMRI and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) will be discussed in the context of recent work dealing with eating behavior, with a particular focus on obesity. In the second part of the review, non-invasive strategies to modulate food-related brain processes and functions will be presented. At the leading edge of non-invasive brain-based technologies is real-time fMRI (rtfMRI) neurofeedback, which is a powerful tool to better understand the complexity of human brain–behavior relationships. rtfMRI, alone or when combined with other techniques and tools such as EEG and cognitive therapy, could be used to alter neural plasticity and learned behavior to optimize and/or restore healthy cognition and eating behavior. Other promising non-invasive neuromodulation approaches being explored are repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS). Converging evidence points at the value of these non-invasive neuromodulation strategies to study basic mechanisms underlying eating behavior and to treat its disorders. Both of these approaches will be compared in light of recent work in this field, while addressing technical and practical questions. The third part of this review will be dedicated to invasive neuromodulation strategies, such as vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS). In combination with neuroimaging approaches, these techniques are promising experimental tools to unravel the intricate relationships between homeostatic and hedonic brain circuits. Their potential as additional therapeutic tools to combat pharmacorefractory morbid obesity or acute eating disorders will be discussed, in terms of technical challenges, applicability and ethics. In a general discussion, we will put the brain at the core of fundamental research, prevention and therapy in the context of obesity and eating disorders. First, we will discuss the possibility to identify new biological markers of brain functions. Second, we will highlight the potential of neuroimaging and neuromodulation in individualized medicine. Third, we will introduce the ethical questions that are concomitant to the emergence of new neuromodulation therapies.03/2015; 26. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2015.03.016
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ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is emerging as a powerful tool for the alleviation of targeted symptoms in treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric disorders. Despite the expanding use of neuropsychiatric DBS, the mechanisms responsible for its effects are only starting to be elucidated. Several modalities such as quantitative electroencephalography as well a intraoperative recordings have been utilized to attempt to understand the underpinnings of this new treatment modality, but functional imaging appears to offer several unique advantages. Functional imaging techniques like positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging have been used to examine the effects of focal DBS on activity in a distributed neural network. These investigations are critical for advancing the field of invasive neuromodulation in a safe and effective manner, particularly in terms of defining the neuroanatomical targets and refining the stimulation protocols. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current functional neuroimaging findings from neuropsychiatric DBS implantation for three disorders: treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourette syndrome. All of the major targets will be discussed (Nucleus accumbens, anterior limb of internal capsule, subcallosal cingulate, Subthalamic nucleus, Centromedial nucleus of the thalamus-Parafasicular complex, frontal pole, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). We will also address some apparent inconsistencies within this literature, and suggest potential future directions for this promising area.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2015; DOI:10.2147/NDT.S46583 · 2.15 Impact Factor