Neurocybernetic prosthesis Patent #: 4867164
ApplicationNo. 926915 filed on 08/07/1992
US Classes:607/118, Applicator placed around stimulated nerve607/133Gastrointestinal tract
ExaminersPrimary: Cohen, Lee S.
Assistant: Casler, Brian L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassA61N 001/05
AbstractA method of treating patients with compulsive eating disorders includes the steps of detecting a preselected event indicative of an imminent need for treatment of the specific eating disorder of interest, and responding to the detected occurrence of the preselected event by applying a predetermined stimulating signal to the patient's vagus nerve appropriate to alleviate the effect of the eating disorder of interest. For example, the preselected event may be a specified level of food consumption by the patient within a set interval of time, or the commencement of a customary mealtime according to the patient's circadian cycle, or the passage of each of a sequence of preset intervals of time, or the patient's own recognition of the need for treatment by voluntarily initiating the application of the stimulating signal to the vagus nerve. In cases in which the disorder is compulsive eating to excess, the stimulating signal is predetermined to produce a sensation of satiety in the patient. The occurrence of the preselected event is detected by summing the number of swallows of food by the patient within the set interval of time. In cases where the disorder is compulsive refusal to eat (anorexia nervosa), the stimulating signal is predetermined to produce a sensation of hunger or to suppress satiety in the patient.