Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Bladder Function

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Bladder Function: A Systematic Review

Clinical Neurophysiology. 130(11):2032-2037, 2019 11.

Nardone R; Versace V; Sebastianelli L; Brigo F; Golaszewski S; Christova M; Saltuari L; Trinka E.

We aimed at assessing the usefulness of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) for exploring the integrity of striated sphincters and pelvic floor motor innervation in normal subjects and of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS (rTMS) in patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed and Embase.

We identified, reviewed and discussed 11 articles matching the inclusion criteria.

The assessment of MEPs could represent a useful tool in the investigation of patients with urologic disorders. High frequency rTMS can improve detrusor contraction and/or urethral sphincter relaxation in patients with multiple sclerosis and bladder dysfunction. Low frequency (LF) rTMS seems to be an effective treatment of neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunctions in subjects with Parkinson’s disease and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders. Furthermore, rTMS might have the potential to restore bladder and bowel sphincter function after incomplete spinal cord injury. LF rTMS could also relieve some symptoms of bladder pain syndrome and chronic pelvic pain.

The clinical applicability of MEPs appears to be questionable, since a poor reproducibility was detected for all pelvic floor muscles. The use of rTMS in this field is emerging and the results of a few preliminary studies should be replicated in controlled, randomized studies with larger sample sizes.