New Pill May Help With Binge Eating Disorder

By Brent McCluskey 01/21/15

A drug typically used to treat ADHD has shown promising in treating eating disorders.

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A new pill may provide hope beyond therapy for those who suffer from binge-eating disorder.

A new study shows that a drug typically used to treat ADHD in children and adults may also help treat binge eating disorder. The study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, tested the drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate on those who struggled with binge eating disorder. At the end of an 11-week period, half of the participants had stopped binge eating entirely.

“This study adds to our toolbox in that we have another treatment to potentially offer to people suffering binge eating disorder,” said study author and eating disorders and obesity expert Denise E. Wilfley. “What we really want is a comprehensive treatment plan. There is a lot of loneliness and isolation needs to be met.”

Binge eating disorder is defined as those who repeatedly eat an excessive amount of food, followed by a sense of having no control. The ADHD drug helps patients moderate their impulses by targeting the brain’s norepinephrine and dopamine systems, which are responsible for regulating rewards control. The norepinephrine component helps with concentration, while dopamine helps reduce the compulsion to mindlessly eat.

Beyond medication, non-pharmacological treatments have shown to help aid in treatment of binge eating disorder such as meditation and exercise. Researchers hope this study will open the door to more research and a wider variety of ways to treat the condition.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.