Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on the Primary Motor Cortex of Individuals with Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

SOURCE: Brain Sciences. 12(5) (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 570.


AUTHORS: Kim H.; Jung J.; Park S.; Joo Y.; Lee S.

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to quantify the effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which is recommended for the improvement of some pain-related symptoms and for antidepressant treatment, on the primary motor cortex (M1) in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). We searched for studies comparing rTMS and sham rTMS in the M1 of FM patients. Pain intensity, quality of life, health status, and depression were compared with or without rTMS for at least 10 sessions. We searched four databases. Quality assessment and quantitative analysis were performed using RevMan 5.4. After screening, five randomized controlled trials of 170 patients with FM were included in the analysis. As a result of the meta-analysis of rTMS on the M1 of individuals with FM, high-frequency rTMS resulted in a significant improvement on quality of life (MD = -2.50; 95% CI: -3.99 to -1.01) compared with sham rTMS. On the other hand, low-frequency rTMS resulted in a significant improvement on health status (MD = 15.02; 95% CI: 5.59 to 24.45). The application of rTMS to the M1 is proposed as an adjunctive measure in the treatment of individuals with FM. Because rTMS has various effects depending on each application site, it is necessary to classify sites or set frequencies as variables.