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Posted by on May 28, 2019 in Parkinson's Disease | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the effectiveness of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF-RTMS) on patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and dysphagia (problems with swallowing). Researchers suggested that HF-RTMS improves swallowing in these patients.

Some background

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic disorder that affects brain cells. The body functions controlled by these cells will also be affected, such as muscle function and balance. Dysphagia is a common symptom of patients with Parkinson disease. It can present in half of these patients.

The available dysphagia treatments are only of limited effectiveness. HF-RTMS consists of a non-invasive electric stimulation delivered by a device placed in a specific area of the brain. Prior studies showed that this treatment is associated with positive outcomes in dysphagia after a stroke. However, it is still not clear how HF-RTMS could help patients with PD and dysphagia.

Methods & findings

This study included 33 patients with PD and dysphagia. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either HF-RTMS or placebo (a treatment with no effect on the body). HF-RTMS was received for 10 days (5 days per week) followed by 5 sessions every month for 3 months. Patients were assessed before and after the last session and 3 months later.

There was a significant improvement in the HF-RTMS group regarding swallowing time for solid foods when compared to placebo. Improvements were also seen in other movement symptoms in the HF-RTMS group only.

The bottom line

This study concluded that HF-RTMS improves dysphagia in patients with Parkinson's disease.

The fine print

This study included a small number of participants. Larger studies are needed for stronger evidence.

Published By :

Neurorehabilitation and neural repair

Date :

May 10, 2019

Original Title :

The Effect of High-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Advancing Parkinson’s Disease With Dysphagia: Double Blind Randomized Clinical Trial.

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