Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for the treatment of spasticity

Has anyone tried this? Or even heard of it?

I found the following abstract on PubMed and I found an American website where they sell equipment to do TMS on yourself. Not sure about it.

"Spasticity is a common disorder in patients with injury of the brain and spinal cord, especially in patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). In MS, spasticity is a major cause of long-term disability, it significantly impacts daily activities and quality of life and is only partially influenced by traditional spasmolytic drugs.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive tool that can be used to modulate cortical excitability of the leg motor area, inducing remote effects on the excitability of the spinal circuits. The H reflex is a reliable electrophysiologic measure of the stretch reflex, and has been used in previous studies to test the effects of rTMS of the motor cortex on spinal circuitry.

Based on these premises, originating from physiological studies in normal subjects, some studies have demonstrated that rTMS of the leg motor cortex can be beneficial in the management of spasticity by enhancing corticospinal tract excitability and reducing H reflex amplitude." (my bold)

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Hiya sc have not heard of that but i do attend a cranial osteopath every 6/8 weeks to regulate the flow of fluid in brain/spine. its amazing! i stopped for about 5 years (cos i felt well) then disaster struck. coincidence i assume but he has time to listen whats going on with my body and is very knowledgeable. drs sometimes know the physical stuff but for real discussion about the body as a whole we need to seek elsewhere and its all down to luck if you find the right person for you! will have a read re it-but am happy with my current support-thanks for sharing. ellie

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Those who can remember the previous forum, will recall the arguments between (on the one hand rizzo and myself, and on the other hand David603) as to what constituted scientific proof (there is no such thing, only degrees of probability, and anecdotal evidence does not count unless collected and properly analysed).

David once quoted some research by NASA as an example of work that was being suppressed by our authorities.
Having a friend at NASA, I knew where to look for this research, and found that it was on one subject (patient) only, and was not being suppressed but was placed on file so that if anyone needed a reference to support research in that field, this work would be available.I called David on this and his reply was that he could not be expected to read everything that he quoted.

The point of this is that the work was concerned with pulsed magnetic fields - nothing as violent as a current MRI scan - but the results suggested that this was an area that needed more research. It sound like someone has done just that. Anyone with a bit of spare time and a talent for data-mining could well track rTMS. The PubMed abstract could be a good place to start.


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I got interested in this because there was a Radio 4 news item last week talking about a proper study being published in a reputable scientific journal showing that rTMS helps people with memory impairment.

I already had the PubMed article above bookmarked on my computer but had forgotten all about it (ha ha). I then did some very basic googling and found a website that sells rTMS equipment - mats, pillows and some things that look like a tennis racquet with no strings. The website suggest marvellous results for people with MS from using its equipment (of course).

I’m going to try it because my spasticity problems are getting me down. I shall post on here if it helps or if it turns out to be a cure for all the ills of MS (but don’t hold your breath waiting for the second of these).

What you can say about rTMS is that it has been used in the US for about 20 years as a treatment for depression, is approved by the US authorities, and is being seriously researched by reputable organisations, like:
Johns Hopkins
and the Yale studies included serious double-blind studies of treatment for auditory hallucinations (hearing voices), These are typical of people with Schizophrenia, and are also noted in people with MS and Parkinsons.

In the UK, it probably suffers from the NIH syndrome (Not Invented Here), but I cannot see any reason why it should not be considered as well worth trying. It has relatively few side effects and these are usually mild.


I’ve started it. The immediate effect is that it’s diuretic (makes you wee and dries you out). I am feeling better since I started it - steadier on my feet. But I think that’s probably because I stopped taking the tiny dose of Baclofen I was having for spasms in my legs. It seemed to make my legs much weaker.

Dear sewingchick, I’d be incredibly interested to hear how you’ve got on with the transcranial magnetic. I’m very interested in it myself as I see good small studies have been done in several countries. I don’t know where you are - I’m in Uk, and nothing has been done with this here yet, sadly.

I’d be incredibly grateful to hear back from you.

With thanks + lots of good wishes


Dear sewingchick and everybody else on the site I’d love to hear back from sewingchick if that’s ever possible re their experience with transcranial magnetic. I’m very interested in it for spasticity. There have been successful but small studies done in Russia, Iraly, France, Egypt etc, maybe other places too. Has anybody else had any experience or heard anything? Or know of any other possible treatments for spasticity other than baclofen etc? If so I’d greatly appreciate hearing from you. All good wishes…