Cortical shocks reduce fatigue

Stimulation of the cortex reduces MS-related fatigue. Interesting! #MSBlog #MSResearch

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a form of neurostimulation which uses constant, low current delivered directly to the brain area of interest via small electrodes. It was originally developed to help patients with brain injuries such as strokes. tDSC has been reported to boost cognition in healthy adults. The pilot study below shows some benefit on MS-related fatigue. Very interesting and suggests that MS-related fatigue may be modifiable via cortical mechanisms. This work clearly needs to be expanded and tested in a large number of MSers and in more sites. I wonder if transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the cortex will have the same response? TMS is another way of stimulating the cortex using a magnetic field; it is easier to use and MSers prefer it. TMS is gainging widespread support to treat a large number of neurological conditions. Please watch this space; innovation is exciting.”


Epub: Tecchio et al. Multiple sclerosis fatigue relief by bilateral somatosensory cortex neuromodulation. J Neurol. 2014 May 23.

Background: MS-related fatigue is highly common and often refractory to medical therapy. 

Methods: Ten fatigued MSers received two blocks of 5-day anodal bilateral primary somatosensory areas transcranial direct current stimulation in a randomized, double-blind sham-controlled, cross-over study. 

Results: The real neuromodulation by a personalized electrode, shaped on the MR-derived primary somatosensory cortical strip, reduced fatigue in all patients, by 26 % in average (p = 0.002), which did not change after sham (p = 0.901). Anodal tDCS over bilateral somatosensory areas was able to relief fatigue in mildly disabled MSers, when the fatigue-related symptoms severely hamper their quality of life. 

Conclusion: These small-scale study results support the concept that interventions modifying the sensorimotor network activity balances could be a suitable non-pharmacological treatment for multiple sclerosis fatigue.

2 thoughts on “Cortical shocks reduce fatigue”

  1. Isn't there research being done which suggests stimulating the vagus nerve reduces inflammation?. Sounds like electricity is the key to unlocking human systems.

    1. Yes, the vagus is one way the immune system signals to the brain. Vagotomy is one way of treating EAE. I am not sure it is relevant to MS.

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