The Role of the Vagus Nerve in Bulimia

 

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Other Treatments

As vagus stimulation is currently an experimental treatment for bulimia, we have also included some information about current treatments. The links below outline the current APA recomendations and also provides an overview of the most common and supported treatments. Please also visit our other resource page for more information about treatments.

As you have learned in previous sections, the vagus nerve sends and receives signals from the brain and various parts of the body. While it is not clearly demonstrated, aspects of other treatments may also involve the vagus nerve. An important element of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is establishing a normal and consistent eating schedule; perhaps this influences the messages sent between the body and the brain via the vagus nerve. In Exposure Plus Response Prevention, the mental reaction and behaviors resulting from eating “forbidden foods” is addressed, and this too may effect the messages sent between the body and the brain via the vagus nerve. Finally, as the pharmacological approach highlights a hypothesis that explains the eating behaviors characteristic of Bulimia as an attempt to consume foods facilitating the production of serotonin, the vagus nerve may be involved in these behaviors as well.

 

The American Psychiatric Association Guidlines

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Exposure Plus Response Prevention

Pharmacological Treatments