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Transcranial magnetic stimulation for Fibromyalgia

Monday 21 April 2014


From's Adrienne Dellwo:


Brain activity

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Fibromyalgia

April 4, 2014

Research Brief

New research shows that a non-invasive, non-drug procedure called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may improve the quality of life of people with fibromyalgia.

Researchers measured quality of life, both mental and physical, as well as pain, mood and anxiety over 11 weeks of treatment. They also looked at changes in brain metabolism.

They say the quality of life improvement was mainly in emotional and social areas and there was no significant difference in the other symptoms. They also found evidence of increase in the right limbic metabolism.

What is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) involves placing a device against the head – in varying places for different conditions – that transmits magnetic pulses through your brain. Repetitive TMS (rTMS), which was used in this study, just means that you have the treatment multiple times.

The purpose of TMS is to change activity levels in relevant parts of the brain. It's believed to actually restructure some neural pathways.

In fibromyalgia, we know that some areas of the brain are over active. We have abnormal blood-flow patterns and connectivity between certain areas, as well. This could mean multiple areas could be targets of study for TMS as a fibromyalgia treatment.

TMS is an experimental treatment for a range of neurological and psychological illnesses, including:

Research on rTMS is still premature, but it's showing promise in multiple areas.

Learn more about TMS:

Have you ever had TMS? Did it help? Is this a treatment you'd like to try? Leave your comments here!


Photo © D-BASE/Getty Images


The above, with comments, originally appeared here.


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