Treatment With Low-Intensity Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Women With Fibromyalgia Improves Diagnostic Variables up to 6 Months After Treatment Completion

SOURCE: Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology. 40(6):1112-1118, 2022 Jun.

AUTHORS: Pareja JL; Caceres O; Zambrano P; Martin F; Berral FJ; Blanco M

OBJECTIVES: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disease treated with various therapeutic approaches that have limited success. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has been proposed as a possible solution to reduce several symptoms. This study aims to analyse the therapeutic effects of transcranial low-intensity magnetic stimulation (LIMS) in women diagnosed with FM at 2, 12 and 24 weeks from the last LIMS administration treatment session.

METHODS: 560 women (53.7 +/- 11.3 years) diagnosed with FM according to the ACR 2016 criteria were randomly allocated in two groups: 280 received standard pharmacological treatment and 280 received the same treatment plus eight sessions of LIMS, 20 minutes long, once a week. The variables
analysed were the widespread pain index (WPI), symptoms severity score (SS score) and the Spanish-validated version of the FM impact questionnaire (S-FIQ). The evaluations were performed at the beginning of LIMS treatment and at 2, 12 and 24 weeks after the end of the last LIMS treatment session.

RESULTS: From the second week after the last LIMS session, there was significant improvement (p <0.001) in the variables WPI, SS score and S-FIQ. This improvement was maintained throughout the 24 weeks of monitoring after the last intervention. The age of the patients and the severity of the symptoms at the time of diagnosis did not affect the improvement observed in the three variables studied.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with LIMS for eight weeks resulted in significant improvement in FM diagnostic variables, which was maintained up to 24 weeks after the last treatment session. This therapy could be recommended as a part of a multimodal approach for FM treatment.