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Recent developments in treatment for anorexia

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Recent Developments in the Treatment of Anorexia March 21, Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious mental illness. Its main symptoms are significant food restriction, strong fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, and disturbance in the way a person’s body weight or shape is experienced. AN has the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. It also has a high treatment refusal rate. For those who do recover, they have a relapse rate of 30 to 50% after a year of treatment and weight gain. Treating anorexia is difficult because it is highly comorbid with anxiety disorders and has complex biological and psychological dimensions. Different treatment options are available, with some of them combining several approaches all in one. Some treatment developments include medication, while others are adapting a neurobiological approach. Other recent treatments are expanding psychological approaches. New effective treatments that have low relapse rates must consider age levels and severity of body image issues and comorbid disorders.
I. Background
A. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) definition of Anorexia Nervosa
B. Mortality and morbidity rates of AN
C. Past treatment methods of AN
D. Need for new treatment developments
II. Pharmacologic treatments
A. Anti-psychotic drugs
B. Lithium carbonate (a mood stabilizer), cyproheptadine hydrochloride, and cisapride
III. Psychological treatments
A. Enhanced cognitive behavior therapy
B. Exposure-Based Family Therapy (FBT-E)
C. Focal psychodynamic therapy
D. Temperament-based treatment
IV. Neurobiological treatment
A. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
B. Other brain stimulation therapies
V. Considerations of New Treatments
A. Efficacy
B. Adherence
C. Safety
VI. Conclusion
A. Testing new treatments through randomized controlled trials (RCTs)
B. Evaluation of long-run effects of new treatments

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