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The effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on eating behaviors and body weight in obesity: A randomized controlled study

  • Se-Hong Kim
    Affiliations
    Department of Family Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Kyonggi-do 442-723, Republic of Korea
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  • Ju-Hye Chung
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    Department of Family Medicine, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 271, Cheon Bo-ro, Uijeong bu-si, Gyeonggi-do 480-717, Republic of Korea
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  • Tae-Hong Kim
    Affiliations
    Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, St. Paul's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Jeonnong a-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-709, Republic of Korea
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  • Seong Hoon Lim
    Affiliations
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Kyonggi-do 442-723, Republic of Korea
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  • Youngkook Kim
    Affiliations
    Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Kyonggi-do 442-723, Republic of Korea
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  • Yun-Ah Lee
    Affiliations
    Department of Family Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Kyonggi-do 442-723, Republic of Korea
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  • Sang-Wook Song
    Affiliations
    Department of Family Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 93-6 Ji-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Kyonggi-do 442-723, Republic of Korea
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Published:November 30, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2017.11.020

      Highlights

      • rTMS delivered to the left DLPFC was effective in inducing weight loss and decreasing food intake in obese patients.
      • rTMS treatment had beneficial effects on improving insulin resistance.
      • rTMS reduced cardiometabolic risks associated with obesity.
      • rTMS for the treatment of obesity may be an effective means of weight reduction.

      Abstract

      Background

      Although some studies have reported significant reductions in food cravings following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), none have examined changes in body weight.

      Objective

      We conducted 2-week randomized, sham-controlled, single-blind, parallel-group trial to examine the effect of rTMS on body weight in obese patients.

      Methods

      Sixty obese patients (body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m2) aged between 18 and 65 years were recruited. A total of 4 sessions of rTMS targeting the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was provided over a period of 2 weeks, with a follow-up assessment conducted two weeks after treatment had finished. The primary outcome measure was weight change in kilograms from baseline to 4 weeks. Secondary endpoints included changes in anthropometric measures, cardiovascular risk factors, food intake, and appetite.

      Results

      Of the 60 volunteers, 57 completed the 4-week follow-up (29 in the TMS group and 28 in the sham treatment group). Participants in the rTMS group showed significantly greater weight loss from baseline following the 4 session of rTMS (p = 0.002). Consistent with weight loss, there was a significant reduction in BMI, fat mass and VAT at week 4 in the rTMS group compared with the control group (p < 0.05). After the 4 sessions of rTMS, the TMS group consumed fewer total kilocalories per day than the control group (p < 0.01).

      Conclusions

      rTMS delivered to the left DLPFC was effective in decreasing food intake and facilitating weight loss in obese patients. The results of this study suggest that rTMS could be an effective treatment option for obesity.

      Trial registration

      Clinical trial registered with the Clinical Trials Tegistry at https://cris.nih.go.kr (KCT0001455).

      Keywords

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