A pilot study of a novel therapeutic approach to obesity: CNS modification by N.I.R. H.E.G. neurofeedback

Ruth Percik, Jenny Cina, Batel Even, Asaf Gitler, Diklah Geva, Lior Seluk, Abigail Livny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background & aims: Despite the thorough mapping of brain pathways involved in eating behavior, no treatment aimed at modulating eating dysregulation from its neurocognitive root has been established yet. We aimed to evaluate the effect of N.I.R. H.E.G. (Near Infra-Red Hemoencephalography) neurofeedback training on appetite control, weight and food-related brain activity. Methods: Six healthy male participants with overweight or mild obesity went through 10 N.I.R. H.E.G. neurofeedback sessions designed to practice voluntary activation of the prefrontal cortex. Weight, eating behavior, appetite control and brain activity related to food and self-inhibition based on fMRI were evaluated before and after neurofeedback training. Results: Our study group demonstrated a positive trend of increased self-control and inhibition related to food behavior, reduced weight and increased activation during an fMRI response-inhibition task (Go-No-Go – GNG) in the predefined region of interest (ROI): superior orbitofrontal cortex (sOFC). Conclusions: N.I.R. H.E.G. holds a promising potential as a feasible neurofeedback platform for modulation of cortical brain circuits involved in self-control and eating behavior and should be further evaluated and developed as a brain modifying device for the treatment and prevention of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nutrition
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Executive functions
  • Mindfulness
  • Neurofeedback
  • Neuroimaging
  • Obesity treatment

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