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Tailoring obesity treatment by slowing stomach emptying

Liraglutide is a medication that is already used to treat Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. A recent study has shown that injections with the drug over a three month period are associated with a marked slowing of stomach emptying, and could therefore be used as an effective weight loss therapy. The authors found that the degree of stomach emptying delay was significantly associated with the amount of weight lost for that individual. For the study, 40 individuals with BMIs greater than 30 kg/m2 were randomised into a treatment group and a placebo group, measurements were then taken on a weekly basis for 16 weeks.

Using this information, it may be possible to measure the degree of stomach emptying delay and use the figure as a predictor of weight loss, thereby helping to tailor specific programmes. Individualised treatment based on the unique response of the patient will ensure that they are receiving the best therapies whilst also reducing the chances of using treatments that aren’t likely to help.

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