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Gastric Stimulation Improves Glucose Control

Recent Austrian studies concluded that gastric stimulation could yield significant improvement in glycemic control among morbidly obese type 2 diabetes patients (ODM).

Bohdjalian et al (2009) recruited 24 ODM for a multicenter open-label European feasibility trial. Each of them were treated with insulin and/ or oral hyperglycemic agents and had a body mass index between 33.3 to 49.7 kg/m2. These participants were implanted laparoscopica ly with a TANTALUS system.

The TANTALUS system provided gastric electrical stimulation which is synchronized to the refractory period of gastric electrical activity. It was applied during meals and was evaluated for safety and for improvement of body weight and glucose control in obese type two diabetics.

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna noted 18 adverse events related to the implant procedure or the device reported in 12 subjects. Accordingly, all were short-lived and resolved with no sequelae.

It was also noted in the large majority of subjects the significant reduction of weight by 4.5 +/- 2.7 kg (p < 0.05) and HbA1c by 0.5 +/- 0.3% (p < 0.05). Moreover, a subgroup (n = 11) on stable or reduced oral medication, registered a weight reduction by 6.3 +/- 3.4 kg (p < 0.05) and HbA1c by 0.9 +/- 0.4% (p < 0.05). The group on insulin (n = 6) had no significant changes in weight and HbA1c.

In conclusion, such findings prove the effectivity of the TANTALUS system among obese type 2 diabetic subjects. “Gastric electrical stimulation can potentially improve glucose metabolism and induce weight loss in obese diabetic patients, who are not well-controlled on oral antidiabetic therapy,” the researchers explained. “Further evaluation is required to determine whether this effect is due to induced weight loss and/or to direct signal dependent mechanisms.”

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