All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Mary M Boggiano

Advisory Committee Members

Franklin Amthor

Sylvie Mrug

Kristine Lokken

Taraneh Soleymani

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The present study investigated the efficacy of a single administration of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to reduce binge eating symptoms, namely food consumption, food cravings, and binge urges, in individuals clinically diagnosed with BED and sub-threshold BED. The study used a within-subjects crossover design whereby each participant received both a real and a sham condition of tDCS in counterbalanced order. Results indicated that tDCS significantly reduced caloric intake of specifically preferred foods during an in-lab eating test, decreased food cravings induced by food photo images, and decreased binge desire on the same day as treatment, compared to sham stimulation. There were a number of sex divergent findings; generally males were significantly more responsive to the ameliorating effects of tDCS on binge eating symptoms compared to females. Potential mechanisms of action of tDCS on binge eating symptoms are discussed. This study is the first to test the effects of tDCS in a binge eating population and the first to report successful amelioration of BED symptoms with this safe neuromodulating technique. Repeated sessions of tDCS in this clinical population hold promise of tDCS as a powerful adjunct treatment for BED and sub-threshold BED, and suggests that males in particular may be most responsive to this treatment.

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