rTMS as Potential Treatment for Bulimia?

by Dr Leigh A Neal, Medical Director Smart TMS Clinics

Thirty-eight people with bulimic-type eating disorders were randomly allocated to receive one session of real or sham high-frequency repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).

Compared with the sham controls, real rTMS was associated with decreased self-reported urge to eat and fewer binge-eating episodes over the 24 hours following stimulation.

This showed that high-frequency rTMS lowers cue-induced food cravings in people with a bulimic eating disorder and may reduce binge eating.

These results provide a rationale for exploring rTMS as a treatment for bulimic eating disorders.


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a technological breakthrough in the treatment of depression. The treatment is now available in London, based at The Smart Clinics Brompton Cross (South Kensington).


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