What is the role of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of spasticity?

Updated: Jun 28, 2019
  • Author: Krupa Pandey, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Centonze et al reported that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may improve spasticity in patients with MS. They used high-frequency (5 Hz) and low-frequency (1 Hz) rTMS protocols in 19 patients with relapsing-remitting MS and lower limb spasticity. [45]

In the study, rTMS was applied over the leg primary motor cortex, measuring the H/M amplitude ratio of the soleus H reflex, a reliable neurophysiologic measure of stretch reflex. A significant improvement of lower limb spasticity was observed when rTMS applications were repeated over 2 weeks, lasting at least 7 days after the end of treatment; no effect was obtained after a 2-week sham stimulation. These results, though promising, need to be verified by larger well-designed studies.

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