Objectives Spinal cord stimulation is a potential therapeutic option for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD)-associated symptoms. Repetitive trans-spinal magnetic stimulation (rTSMS) is a non-invasive and safe alternative for stimulation of spinal pathways that has not been studied for therapeutic efficacy in PD. We assessed the benefits of rTSMS on camptocormia, an often treatment-resistant postural abnormality observed in PD patients.
Methods We compared rTSMS to sham stimulation in PD patients with camptocormia in a single-centre, randomised, single-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study. PD patients with camptocormia were administered a single trial of rTSMS (a train of 40 stimuli) or sham treatment followed 1 week later by the alternate treatment. Primary outcome measure was thoracolumbar spine flexion angle in the standing position immediately after the trial.
Results Of 320 PD patients examined, 37 had concomitant camptocormia and were randomly assigned to either the rTSMS first group (n=19) or sham first group (n=18). Flexion angle in the standing position decreased by a mean of 10.9° (95% CI 8.1 to 13.65) after rTSMS but remained unchanged after sham stimulation (mean, −0.1°; 95% CI −0.95 to 0.71). The flexion angle while sitting (secondary outcome) decreased by 8.1° (95% CI 5.89 to 10.25) after rTSMS, whereas sham treatment had no significant effect (mean, −0.8°; 95% CI −1.62 to 0.05).
Conclusions We found an immediate beneficial effect of rTSMS on camptocormia in PD patients. Although the effect was transient, this successful trial justifies further studies to test if repeated rTSMS treatments can induce longer term improvements in camptocormia associated with PD.
Clinical trial registration UMIN Clinical Trials Registry: UMIN000011495.
- Parkinson's Disease
- Movement Disorders