In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers suggested that NIBS showed a positive effect on these patients.
Parkinson's disease (PD) affects certain brain cells. The symptoms can go from muscle rigidity and tremors to impaired gait (walking). Patients with freezing of gait are often not capable to start stepping forward while walking. This condition increases the risk of falling and decreases the quality of life of these patients.
Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) includes repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). rTMS uses magnetic force to activate brain cells. tDCS uses constant low direct current delivered through electrodes on the head.
Both methods have been tested for brain conditions with positive results. However, it is not clear how these treatments can be used to treat freezing of gait in patients with PD.
Methods & findings
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of rTMS and tDCS in the treatment of freezing of gait in patients with PD. This study reviewed 7 other studies. It included overall 102 patients with PD. They were treated with NIBS.
Both treatments showed to be associated with a significant improvement in freezing of gait. There were no side effects reported in 3 of the studies. 3 other studies showed mild headache after the procedure that disappeared afterward.
The bottom line
This study concluded that non-invasive brain stimulation is associated with positive effects in the treatment of freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease.
The fine print
The studies included had limited number of participants. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Parkinsonism & related disorders
Mar 02, 2019
If you sign up for Medivizor, you'll receive PERSONALIZED updates that are JUST FOR YOU. Want to give it a try?