Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Multiple Sclerosis

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory degenerative condition with a number of symptoms that can decrease a patient’s quality of life. As an autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis has no formal treatment. However, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been shown to help reduce some of the symptoms of the condition.

This article will explore MS, TMS, and how magnetic stimulation can help to improve life for people who struggle with multiple sclerosis. Speak with your local doctor of internal medicine in San Diego to learn more.

About Multiple Sclerosis & Treatment

Multiple sclerosis can be a difficult condition to manage. Since there is no official treatment or cure for the condition, your doctor of internal medicine San Diego is likely to focus on managing its symptoms. Medications have been developed to help decrease the frequency of symptom attacks/remissions for MS patients.

Unfortunately, since MS attacks are unpredictable, they can not always be caught beforehand. Many other treatments focus on encouraging patient recovery following an asymptomatic attack. In either case, the goal is to reduce symptoms associated with MS.

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Two of the most common symptoms associated with MS are depression and fatigue. While these may not be the most debilitating of symptoms, they can certainly be a hindrance and an obstacle. TMS has been shown to help improve these symptoms in patients with MS.

Using TMS to Help Fight Fatigue & Depression

Fatigue affects up to 90% of multiple sclerosis patients, and nearly half experience depressive symptoms. These symptoms as well as others have led to an increasing rate of suicide among MS patients and thus an increased need to find solutions.

Research suggests that TMS is a useful treatment for these two specific symptoms.

One study, presented at the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS, reported on the use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

The study applied rTMS to the motor cortex of the patients involved. The doctors administered rTMS with an H-coil that was developed by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the company Brainway, located in Jerusalem.

The H-coil differs from the traditional figure-8 coil and is capable of delivering deeper stimulation in a less focused manner. When this area of the brain was stimulated, the result was a significant decrease in fatigue and depression that persisted for up to six weeks following treatment.

Researchers also found that similar benefits could be found when applying stimulation to the left prefrontal cortex.

In either case, the study concluded that the treatment was safe and well-tolerated by all patients. Some reported a few side effects such as headaches following treatment. A few patients reported paresthesia in their lower or upper limbs. None reported permanent or lasting side effects.

The only issue with this study is the relatively small sample size: only 28 patients with multiple sclerosis were treated. However, all patients reported an improvement in their depression and fatigue scores, indicating that the test was effective.


Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder with a number of unpleasant symptoms. Of these, fatigue and depression are two of the most common. Many patients seek help for these symptoms from doctors of internal medicine San Diego.

Researchers have discovered that the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation, applied to the brains of MS patients, can reduce these symptoms. In at least one study, all patients given the treatment reported improvements in these areas.

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