Guest Episode
September 26, 2022

Dr. Casey Halpern: Biology & Treatments for Compulsive Eating & Behaviors

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My guest is Casey Halpern, M.D., Chief of Stereotactic and Functional and Professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Halpern’s research and clinical practice focus on using deep brain stimulation to treat compulsive and movement disorders (e.g., binge eating disorders, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Parkinson’s disease essential tremor, dystonia). We discuss using deep brain stimulation to help patients who suffer from movement and compulsive disorders and applying this treatment to patients afflicted with binge eating. We also explore applications of this technology to other conditions such as OCD, anorexia and tremor, and the future therapeutic directions of the use of non-invasive brain stimulation approaches, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and ultrasound, for the treatment of other psychiatric illnesses and conditions. This episode will interest those curious about the biology of eating, anorexia, bulimia, compulsive thoughts and behaviors, and movement.


  • 00:00:00 Dr. Casey Halpern & Disordered Eating & Brain Stimulation
  • 00:03:18 ROKA, Eight Sleep, InsideTracker
  • 00:07:19 Momentous Supplements
  • 00:08:28 Neurosurgeon’s View of the Brain, Neurosurgery Specialization
  • 00:13:05 Deep Brain Stimulation & Other Unexpected Positive Effects
  • 00:17:20 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Prescriptions & Cognitive Therapies
  • 00:25:40 Brain Areas in OCD, Risk, Rewards & Addiction
  • 00:31:11 AG1 (Athletic Greens)
  • 00:32:27 Facial and Vocal Ticks, Stimulants, Stress & Superstition
  • 00:39:28 Nucleus Accumbens, Reward Circuits, Eating Disorders & Obesity
  • 00:47:18 Stimulation of Nucleus Accumbens, Continuous vs. Episodic Stimulation
  • 00:49:49 Binge Eating Disorder & Loss of Control Eating
  • 00:53:02 Developing Binge Eating Disorder: Predisposition, Environment, Stress
  • 01:02:07 Electrodes in Nucleus Accumbens, Identifying “Craving Cells”
  • 01:11:41 Effects of Stimulation, Interrupting Craving, Intermediate Stimulation
  • 01:16:46 Anorexia, Obesity & Compulsions, Potential Treatments for Anorexia
  • 01:23:14 Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • 01:32:27 MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound: Tremor, Essential Tremor & Parkinson’s
  • 01:36:40 Future of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, Epilepsy & Depression
  • 01:41:51 Pre-Behavioral States in Compulsion & Awareness, Mood Provocation
  • 01:48:02 Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence & Compulsion Predictions
  • 01:53:05 Neurosurgeon Hands, Resistance Training & Deadlifts
  • 01:59:00 “Neurosurgeon Calm,” Quality Time & Prioritization, Neurosurgeon Training
  • 02:09:53 Daily Habits: Sleep, Exercise, Mediation
  • 02:11:59 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous Supplements, Neural Network Newsletter, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

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