Home-Administered Treatment Shows Promise for Binge Eating

Finding for 10 sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation with attention bias modification training
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, June 25, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- At-home, self-administered transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and attention bias modification training (ABMT) is feasible, acceptable, and shows promising efficacy for treatment of binge eating, according to a study published online June 6 in BJPsych Open.

Michaela Flynn, Ph.D., from King's College London, and colleagues assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of at-home, self-administered tDCS and ABMT in 82 adults with binge eating disorder (10 sessions over two to three weeks).

The researchers found that treatment completion rates were high (98.7 percent), with all interventions (real tDCS with ABMT, sham tDCS with ABMT, and ABMT only) reducing binge eating episodes, eating disorder symptoms, and related psychopathology from baseline to follow-up, relative to waitlist control (medium-to-large between-group effect sizes for change scores). Real tDCS with ABMT was favored with small-to-medium effect sizes for change scores versus comparators, suggesting the verum intervention produces superior outcomes.

"Participants commented that their mood felt lighter, which may be a key part of why they reported changes in eating behavior and weight loss that lasted for some time after treatment ended," Flynn said in a statement. "Our findings are encouraging, and we want to explore this on a larger scale with more participants."

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