Endocrinology and Metabolism Department, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy
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Weight loss induced by deep transcranial magnetic stimulation in obesity: A randomized, double‐blind, sham‐controlled study
- Published on April 8, 2019
Aim: To test the hypothesis that deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) reduces food craving and causes weight loss via neuromodulation.
Materials and Methods: This pilot study was designed as a randomized, double‐blind, sham‐controlled study. A total of 33 obese people (nine men, 24 women, mean age 48.1 ± 10.6 years, body mass index [BMI] 36.9 ± 4.7 kg/m2) were randomized and completed the study: 13 participants underwent a 5‐week treatment with high‐frequency (HF) dTMS (18 Hz; HF group), 10 were treated with low‐frequency (LF) dTMS (1 Hz; LF group), and 10 were sham‐treated (sham group). Food craving, and metabolic and neuro‐endocrine variables were evaluated at baseline, after the 5‐week treatment, and at follow‐up visits (1 month, 6 months, 1 year after the end of treatment).
Results: The mixed‐model analysis for repeated measures showed a significant interaction of time and groups for body weight (P = 0.001) and BMI (P = 0.001), with a significant body weight (−7.83 ± 2.28 kg; P = 0.0009) and BMI (−2.83 ± 0.83, P = 0.0009) decrease in the HF versus the sham group. A decreasing trend in food craving in the HF versus the LF and sham groups (P = 0.073) was observed. A significant improvement of metabolic and physical activity variables was found (P < 0.05) in the HF group.
Conclusions: We demonstrated the safety and efficacy of dTMS, in addition to physical exercise and a hypocaloric diet, in reducing body weight for up to 1 year in obese people. We hypothesize that a possible mechanism of HF dTMS treatment is modulation of the dopaminergic pathway and stimulation of physical activity.
- Anna Ferrulli MD 1
- Concetta Macrì RN 1
- Ileana Terruzzi MS 2
- Stefano Massarini MS 1
- Federico Ambrogi PhD 3
- Michela Adamo MD 1
- Valentina Milani PhD 4
- Livio Luzi MD 1,2
Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Scientific Directorate, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy
Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism