Dermatome Electrical Stimulation on Individuals With Overweight and Class I Obesity


About this study

Investigators are doing this research study to find out the effect of T6 dermatomal electrical stimulation (delivered by a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit) on appetite and weight loss.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Overweight and obese adults (BMI ≥25 kg/m2 and ≤34.99 kg/m2) residing within 125 miles of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; these will be otherwise healthy individuals with no unstable psychiatric disease and not currently on treatment for cardiac, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, hepatic, renal, hematological, neurological, or endocrine (other than hyperglycemia on diet) disorders.
  • Age: 18-65 years
  • Gender: Men or women. Women of childbearing potential will be using an effective form of contraception, and have negative pregnancy tests within 48 hours of enrollment and before each radiation exposure.
  • Subjects must have the ability to provide informed consent before any trial-related activities.

Eligible individuals will be asked to avoid taking additional medications and supplements for the duration of the study, unless reviewed and approved by the study team.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Abdominal surgery other than appendectomy, Caesarian section or tubal ligation
  • Positive history of chronic gastrointestinal diseases, systemic disease that could affect gastrointestinal motility, or use of medications that may alter gastrointestinal motility, appetite or absorption, e.g., Orlistat
  • Positive history of diabetes mellitus or use of hypoglycemic medications
  • Positive history of spinal cord injury and/or chronic back pain
  • Significant untreated psychiatric dysfunction based upon screening with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Inventory (HAD) (12), a self-administered alcoholism screening test (AUDIT-C) (13), and the Questionnaire on Eating and Weight Patterns (binge eating disorders and bulimia) (14). If such a dysfunction is identified by a HAD score >11 or difficulties with substance or eating disorders, the participant will be excluded and given a referral letter to his/her primary care doctor for further appraisal and follow-up.
  • Intake of medication, whether prescribed or over the counter (except multivitamins), within 7 days of the study. Exceptions are birth control pill, estrogen replacement therapy, thyroxine replacement therapy, low dose analgesia or anti-inflammatory medications (Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen) and any medication administered for co-morbidities as long as they do not alter gastrointestinal motility including gastric emptying and gastric accommodation.
  • Subjects may also be excluded from participation for other factors at the discretion of the principal investigator.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Michael Camilleri, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

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