Efficacy of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation on Cognitive and Motor Functions in Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

SOURCE: Frontiers in Neurology. 14 (no pagination), 2023. Article Number: 1091252.


AUTHORS: Zhang Q.; Zheng S.; Li G.; Li S.; He L.; Zeng Y.; Chen L.; Chen S.; Zheng X.; Zou J.; Zeng Q.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) on cognitive and motor functions in patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS).

METHOD(S): A literature search was performed in the Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, Medline, CNKI, and Wan fang. The time interval used for database construction was up to December 2022, and the language was not limited. The collected trials were subsequently screened, the data were extracted, the quality was evaluated, and the effect sizes were computed using STATA/MP Version 13 for outcome analysis. Standard mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated for domain of interest.

RESULT(S): In total, 17 articles that examined 364 patients with multiple sclerosis were included in this analysis. Non-invasive brain stimulation did not improve the overall cognitive function [SMD = 0.18, 95% CI (-0.32, 0.69), P = 0.475] but helped improve motor function in patients [SMD = 0.52, 95% CI (0.19, 0.85), P = 0.002]. Moreover, this study specifically indicated that non-invasive brain stimulation improved alerting [SMD = 0.68, 95% CI (0.09, 1.26), P = 0.02], whereas non-invasive brain stimulation intervention improved motor function in patients aged <45 years [SMD = 0.67, 95% CI (0.23, 1.10), P = 0.003] and in patients with expanded disability status scale scores (EDSS) <3.5 [SMD = 0.82, 95% CI (0.22, 1.42), P = 0.007]. In particular, NIBS contributed to the improvement of spasticity in pwMS [SMD = 0.68, 95% CI (0.13, 1.23), P = 0.015].

CONCLUSION(S): These results of this present study provide evidence that non-invasive brain stimulation could improve alertness in pwMS. Furthermore, NIBS may help pwMS with motor function and those who are under 45 years of age or with EDSS < 3.5 improve their motor function. For the therapeutic use of NIBS, we recommend applying transcranial magnetic stimulation as an intervention and located on the motor cortex M1 according to the subgroup analysis of motor function. These findings warrant verification.

FULL ARTICLE LINK: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2023.1091252/full