At Smart TMS, we regularly carry out reviews of the latest scientific literature to see what other conditions transcranial magnetic stimulation can treat. Our latest review showed that there is a good evidence base for the effectiveness of TMS in treating obesity so we are now offering TMS as a treatment for obesity and weight loss.
There have been several randomized controlled trials which have shown that TMS can cause weight loss for obese patients. In these studies, active TMS is compared to sham to show the effect comes from the treatment rather than being a placebo. Participants in the active group experienced significant reductions in fat, consumed fewer calories and increased their activity levels.
While the precise mechanism is still to be worked out, TMS has been shown to reduce food cravings and to increase executive control so reducing food intake. Interestingly, TMS has also been shown to change the gut microbiome.
Obesity is an increasingly common condition: in the UK, 65% of adults are overweight of whom nearly half are classed as obese, representing approx. 28% of the total population. Overweight is defined as having a BMI of over 25, with obesity classed as starting at 30. A higher proportion of men than women are overweight. Worryingly, an increasing proportion of children are obese compared to 15 years ago.
The usual approaches to weight loss are dieting and exercise. NICE guidance also includes behavioral interventions and pharmaceutical treatments such as orlistat, which has unpleasant side effects, and interacts with some other drugs, including some antidepressants. Given the data above, self-evidently these approaches are not working for most of the population.
Bariatric surgery is a more extreme way of treating the problem. Bariatric surgery refers to a range of procedures including gastric bypasses, stomach stapling and gastric banding, often performed to limit the amount of food that an individual can consume. It is mainly used to treat those with a BMI of above 40, and in some cases where BMI is between 35 and 40 if the patient has health problems such as heart disease or diabetes. It is an expensive procedure and inherently risky given the requirement for an anaesthetic and surgery.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation offers an effective alternative treatment for weight loss which is drug free and requires no surgery. A course of 15 TMS sessions of treatment over three weeks is all that is required. Each session is 30 minutes long and is administered in one of our nationwide clinics.
You might also enjoy our recent blog about TV presenter and author, Richard Osman, opening up about his experience of food addiction.
To find out whether TMS could be helpful for you, try our quick online suitability check!
SMART TMS CLINICS
Smart TMS was established in 2015, dedicated to providing TMS treatment in London at their South Kensington/Brompton Cross centre. The company then opened a second clinic in Birmingham in September 2017. The first Irish clinic was opened in Dublin in October 2017 and in 2018, Smart TMS opened further locations in Manchester, Bristol and Havant (South Coast).
If you have any other queries, or would like to book an appointment in a UK clinic, contact the team:
- Tel: 0345 222 5678
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish patients may contact Our Dublin Clinic direct on: