rTMS Eases Symptoms of Depression, Improves Well-Being of Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Finds

rTMS Eases Symptoms of Depression, Improves Well-Being of Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Finds
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, lessens symptoms of depression and improves the general well-being of fibromyalgia patients. The study with that finding, "Is high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the left primary motor cortex superior to the stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in fibromyalgia syndrome?," was published recently in Somatosensory & Motor Research. Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and memory and mood issues. Although the specific causes underlying the development of fibromyalgia are still not clear, scientists believe the condition arises from a disturbance of the nervous system that changes the way the brain interprets sensations, especially painful stimuli. Although there is no cure, and there is no so-called "gold standard" therapy for fibromyalgia, recent studies have shown that rTMS — a non-invasive technique in which nerve cells in the brain are stimulated with magnetic pulses — may be indicated to alleviate pain and depression associated with several neurological and psychiatric disorders. "High-frequency rTMS of the prefrontal cortex (...) was found to be effective on pain reduction as well as improvement of depressive symptoms in fibromyalgic patients. It was suggested in a meta-analysis that [motor cortex] stimulation may be better in pain reduction and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may be better in depression improvement," the investigators wrote. Of note, the prefrontal cortex is a region responsible for higher thought processes, such as decision-making, planning and reasoning; the motor cortex is a region responsible for the control of vo
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