Changes in eating behavior after deep brain stimulation for anorexia nervosa. A case study

Matteo Manuelli, Andrea Franzini, Roberta Galentino, Roberta Bidone, Bernardo Dell’Osso, Mauro Porta, Domenico Servello, Hellas Cena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in the nutritional status, body image concerns, and eating behaviors occurring in a patient who underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis for treatment-refractory anorexia nervosa (AN). Methods: Bilateral DBS of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis was performed in a 37-year-old woman affected by refractory AN. Pre- and post-surgical evaluations were conducted via an array of validated testing instruments, which took into account the weight variations, body image concerns, eating behavior, quality of life, and nutritional status. Results: Overall, eating behavior-, body image concern-, and nutritional status-related testing instruments demonstrated improvements starting from the first post-operative month. Normal body weight was restored after 4 months of stimulation. Discussion: Only a few cases of DBS for AN have been conducted to determine the efficacy of surgery based upon weight variation and psychometric scales for anxiety and affective disorders. In contrast, we have designed a comprehensive approach taking into account the most important aspects of this disease. This approach should be considered in future studies dealing with the neurosurgical treatment of AN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1481-1486
JournalEating and Weight Disorders
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Body image
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Surgical approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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