The Daily Mail online health section has featured the development of rTMS – repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – for treating anorexia.
Anorexia is said to affect up to 4% of women at some point and is an eating disorder which involves restricting food intake and/or intensive exercise in order to control weight. The dramatic weight loss can lead to health problems including osteoperosis and heart damage and in some cases can be fatal with up to 20% of sufferers expected to die prematurely. Only 10-30% of people recover with the best talking therapies.
The Daily Mail feature is entitled
“How zapping the head with magnetic pulses could help people with anorexia: Treatment ‘re-wires sufferers’ brains to feel less fat'”
It explores the use of TMS for helping sufferers of anorexia by stimulating the area of the brain used in self-control, which is thought to be underactive in anorixics.
The feature explains the treatment:
“The treatment used in the study is called repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or rTMS, and involves placing a magnetic coil on the scalp and using it to stimulate the brain’s electrical circuits.
“Patients feel a gentle tapping sensation on the side of their head while over or under-active parts of the brain are calmed down or jump-started.”
The results of the trial were reported to be very promising:
“Tests done showed that those who had the real treatment felt less need to restrict their food intake afterwards.
“They also felt less full and less fat and had more control over their actions, the journal PLOS ONE reports.”
Dr Jessica McClelland, Post-doctoral Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, says:
“We found that just one session of TMS was able to reduce core symptoms of anorexia which were urge to restrict levels of feeling full and levels of feeling fat and also improve prudent decision making…
“These findings suggest that TMS may reduce symptoms of anorexia by improving cognitive control of compulsive symptoms such as restricting food intake.”
“Anorexia is a mental illness, therefore there is an urgent need for targeted, brain-directed treatment options.
“Given the promising findings of this study, the next step is to assess whether TMS treatment has longer lasting therapeutic benefits in people with anorexia.”
SMART TMS CLINICS
The treatment is now available in London, based at The Smart Clinics Brompton Cross (South Kensington).
For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:
Tel: 0345 222 5678