Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Treatment in Enduring Anorexia Nervosa: A Case Series

Jessica McClelland*, Maria Kekic, Iain C. Campbell, Ulrike Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives This case series examined the therapeutic potential of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in five women with enduring anorexia nervosa. Methods Participants received ~20 sessions of neuronavigated high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Body mass index, eating disorder (ED) symptoms and mood were assessed pre-treatment and post-treatment, at 6-month and 12-month follow-up (FU). Qualitative feedback regarding the intervention was obtained from participants and carers. Results From pre-treatment to post-treatment, ED and affective symptoms improved significantly, and body mass index remained stable. Further improvements in ED symptoms/mood were seen at 6-month FU with 3/5 and 2/5 participants deemed 'recovered' on the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, respectively. However, most participants had lost some weight, and therapeutic effects on psychopathology had waned by 12-month FU. Qualitative feedback regarding the intervention was encouraging. Discussion Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was well tolerated, and preliminary evidence is provided for its therapeutic potential in anorexia nervosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association
Issue number2
Early online date4 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • anorexia nervosa
  • eating disorders
  • neuronavigation
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation (repetitive)
  • treatment


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