Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), is a chronic pain disorder with poorly understood pathophysiology. In recent years, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been recommended for pain relief in various chronic pain disorders. The objective of the present research was to study the effect of low frequency rTMS over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on pain status in FMS.
Ninety diagnosed cases of FMS were randomized into Sham-rTMS and Real-rTMS groups. Real rTMS (1 Hz/1200 pulses/8 trains/90% resting motor threshold) was delivered over the right DLPFC for 5 consecutive days/week for 4 weeks. Pain was assessed by subjective and objective methods along with oxidative stress markers. Patients were followed up for 6 months (post-rTMS;15 days, 3 months and 6 months).
In Real-rTMS group, average pain ratings and associated symptoms showed significant improvement post rTMS. The beneficial effects of rTMS lasted up to 6 months in the follow-up phase. In Sham-rTMS group, no significant change in pain ratings was observed.
Right DLPFC rTMS can significantly reduce pain and associated symptoms of FMS probably through targeting spinal pain circuits and top-down pain modulation .
Ref No: CTRI/2013/12/004228.