Although problems with binge eating affect many people, there aren’t really any good treatments for those that suffer. Binge eaters might go to therapy or a weight-loss program; they might take antidepressants. But, these things don’t work especially well for those seeking help. Many scientists have wondered if there could be real differences in the reward centers of the brain in those who have trouble with binging.
So, scientists have tried deep brain stimulation — yep, that’s shocking the inner-brain — in mice to help curb binge eating. And, weird as it may sound, it worked! Now we can’t just go around shocking the insides of brains to stop binge eating — some serious disorders, like Parkinson’s Disease, do use brain stimulation as a treatment, but the risks don’t outweigh the benefits for binge eaters.
BUT this science is discovering important clues in how the reward centers of the brain reacts to food. And this will likely pave the way for both understanding binge eating and for innovative future treatments. (io9)