A Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study of the Effects of Cranial Electrical Stimulation on Activity in Brain Pain Processing Regions in Individuals with Fibromyalgia
Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Electronic address: . EXPLORE The Journal of Science and Healing
(Impact Factor: 1).
01/2013; 9(1):32-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.explore.2012.10.006
To investigate the effects of microcurrent cranial electrical stimulation (CES) therapy on activity in pain processing brain regions.
A randomized, controlled, three-group, double-blind pilot study.
Persons with physician-diagnosed fibromyalgia.
Active CES device, sham device, and usual care alone.
Those individuals using the active device had a greater decrease in average pain (P = .023) than individuals using the sham device or receiving usual care alone over time. Preliminary analyses of the functional magnetic resonance imaging data on a subset of six participants from each of the two device groups show that individuals using an active CES device had a decrease in activation in the pain processing regions of the brain compared to those using a sham device.
The observed decrease in activation in the pain processing regions may indicate a decrease in neural activity in these regions that may be related to decreased pain. This is the first randomized, controlled trial of CES in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia to report functional magnetic resonance imaging data.
Available from: Cesar Cavinato Cal Abad
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ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia (FM) is an idiopathic rheumatological order and incurable desease that causes chronic pain and has complex and multifactorial treatment. Exercise may be a part of treatment by relieving some of the symptoms of FM, but the literature still lacks optimal information about type, intensity, duration and frequency against the symptoms of FM. The aim of this study was to verify the effect of 12 weeks of resistance training in a patient with FM that had no pharmacological treatment. The results indicated that 12 weeks of resistance training was able to reduce pain, improve functional capacity, general well-being and quality of life of the patient. Resistance training appeared to attenuate the negative effects of FM and seems to be a promising tool for patients with FM who enjoy this kind of activity.
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ABSTRACT: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method for activating specific areas of the brain. There are two variants, repetitive TMS (rTMS) and direct TMS. Rapid changes in an electrical current induce a magnetic field, which in turn induces an electrical current in a nearby conductor. When a coil is positioned over the brain, rTMS delivers very brief and painless magnetic pulses to the brain. Initially, rTMS was developed as a treatment for depression. Since then, potential indications have been extended to the treatment of chronic pain, most notably in patients with rheumatic diseases. Thus, active research is being conducted into rTMS effects in fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, and type I complex regional pain syndrome. Studies have established that rTMS is safe; provides pain relief, at least in the short-term; and improves the psychological correlates of chronic pain. These data support further development efforts with the goal of using rTMS in patients with chronic pain, including those with rheumatic diseases. French physicians have shown a high level of interest in rTMS, and the first French recommendations for using this method were issued in 2011. Further research is needed to determine the optimal stimulation parameters, session frequency, and session duration, as well as the best indications. Physicians who see many patients with chronic pain, such as rheumatologists, should be aware of this developing non-pharmacological and safe treatment modality, which can be of considerable help to their patients.
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