Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Device Calms Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are considered different
clinical entities although they can be co-morbid and what works for
fibromyalgia alone may prove ineffective or possibly even harmful such
as in the case of exercise in patients with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
As the author notes, caution is warranted as this study was published
as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and
conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.

ACR: Device Calms Fibromyalgia Symptoms
By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
November 09, 2010

ATLANTA -- Electrodes placed on the scalp to deliver weak,
high-frequency currents significantly reduced symptoms of fibromyalgia
in a double-blind, sham-controlled trial, a researcher said here.

Mean decline from baseline in Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ)
scores after 11 weeks of treatment was 15.5 points (95% CI 8.7 to
22.3) -- about a 25% drop -- compared with a 5.6-point decline (95% CI
0.1 to 11.2) in patients receiving sham treatment (P=0.03 between
groups), said Jeffrey Hargrove, PhD, of Kettering University in Flint,

"Compared to sham treatment, NICE [noninvasive cortical
electrostimulation] yielded clinically significant improvements in
pain, tenderness, and other typical features of fibromyalgia,"
Hargrove told attendees during an oral presentation at the American
College of Rheumatology's annual meeting here.

The technology is similar to, but distinct from, two other noninvasive
electromagnetic therapies that have been tested in fibromyalgia --
transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct
current stimulation (TDCS).

TMS uses magnets placed on the scalp to induce currents within the
brain, wheres TDCS applies a high-density direct current across the
cranium with external electrodes. Both can be felt by the patient,
making it difficult to conduct a fully blinded trial.

With the weaker currents used in NICE, Hargrove explained, "patients
never feel the signal at all."

But the main idea in all three approaches is the same: to use
electrical currents to alter and normalize pain signaling pathways in
the brain. ...

Primary source: American College of Rheumatology
Source reference:
Hargrove J, et al "Non-invasive cortical electrostimulation in the
treatment of fibromyalgia" ACR 2010; Abstract 647.

Full story may be found at:

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