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Magnetic Therapy Research: Multiple Sclerosis

General Studies

Sensory & Motor Function

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Resolution of longstanding symptoms of multiple sclerosis by application of picoTesla range magnetic fields.

Sandyk R, Iacono RP.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

Recent clinical reports have suggested that treatment with extremely weak magnetic fields (MF) in the picoTesla range is an efficacious modality for the symptomatic therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) during the remission and exacerbation periods of the disease. The present communication concerns a 64 year old woman with a 22 year history of MS of the chronic-progressive type who presented with a longstanding history of ataxia of gait, weakness in the legs, difficulties with swallowing, loss of bladder control, blurred vision, diplopia, chronic fatigue, and cognitive impairment. In this patient two 30 minute treatments with MF on two separate days resulted in a dramatic improvement of symptoms. Specifically, the patient experienced marked improvement in balance and gait as well as increased strength in the legs to the extent that she was able to abandon the use of a walker within 48 hours after initiation of magnetic treatment. In addition, there was complete resolution of diplopia, bladder dysfunction, and fatigue with improvement in mood and cognitive functions. The report attests to the unique efficacy of extremely weak MF in the symptomatic treatment of patients with MS including those patients with a chronic progressive course of the disease and supports the hypothesis that dysfunction of synaptic conductivity due to neurotransmitter deficiency specifically of serotonin rather than demyelination underlies the neurologic deficits of the disease.

Int J Neurosci. 1993 Jun;70(3-4):255-69.

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Weak electromagnetic fields attenuate tremor in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R, Dann LC.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

It has been estimated that about 75% of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) have tremor which can be exceedingly disabling. The most common tremor observed in patients with MS is a cerebellar intention tremor ('kinetic tremor') although postural tremor ('static tremor') is also common and often extremely incapacitating. Currently there is no effective medical treatment for the tremor of MS which, in some severe cases, may be abolished by stereotactic thalamotomy. It was reported recently that extracranial application of brief AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range produced improvement in motor and cognitive functions in patients with MS. The present communication concerns three MS patients with a chronic progressive course of the disease (mean age: 39.3 +/- 8.3 years; mean duration of illness: 11.3 +/- 3.2 years) in whom brief external applications of pulsed EMFs of 7.5 pT intensity reduced intention and postural tremors resulting in significant functional improvement. The report suggests that these extremely low intensity EMFs are beneficial also in the treatment of tremors in MS and that this treatment may serve as an alternative method to stereotactic thalamotomy in the management of tremor in MS. The mechanisms by which EMFs attenuate the tremors of MS are complex and are thought to involve augmentation of GABA and serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission in the cerebellum and its outflow tracts.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Dec;79(3-4):199-212.

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Treatment with weak electromagnetic fields improves fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

It is estimated that 75-90% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience fatigue at some point during the course of the disease and that in about half of these patients, subjective fatigue is a primary complaint. In the majority of patients fatigue is present throughout the course of the day being most prominent in the mid to late afternoon. Sleepiness is not prominent, but patients report that rest may attenuate fatigability. The pathophysiology of the fatigue of MS remains unknown. Delayed impulse conduction in demyelinated zones may render transmission in the brainstem reticular formation less effective. In addition, the observation that rest may restore energy and that administration of pemoline and amantadine, which increase the synthesis and release of monoamines, often improve the fatigue of MS suggest that depletion of neurotransmitter stores in damaged neurons may contribute significantly to the development of fatigue in these patients. The present report concerns three MS patients who experienced over several years continuous and debilitating fatigue throughout the course of the day. Fatigue was exacerbated by increased physical activity and was not improved by rest. After receiving a course of treatments with picotesla flux electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which were applied extracranially, all patients experienced improvement in fatigue. Remarkably, patients noted that several months after initiation of treatment with EMFs they were able to recover, after a short period of rest, from fatigue which followed increased physical activity. These observations suggest that replenishment of monoamine stores in neurons damaged by demyelination in the brainstem reticular formation by periodic applications of picotesla flux intensity EMFs may lead to more effective impulse conduction and thus to improvement in fatigue including rapid recovery of fatigue after rest.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Feb;84(1-4):177-86.

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Treatment with electromagnetic field alters the clinical course of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis -- a case report.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

It is estimated that 10-20% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a chronic progressive (CP) course characterized by an insidious of neurological deficits followed by steady progression of disability in the absence of symptomatic remission. No therapeutic modality has shown specific efficacy in the treatment of patients with CP MS and there are no data to indicate that any pharmacologic or other modality alters the clinical course of CP MS. Treatment with picotesla electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is a highly effective modality for the symptomatic management of MS including the chronic progressive form. In addition, this treatment also appears to alter the natural course of the disease in CP patients. A 36 year-old man experienced, at the age of 31, insidious weakness in the legs and several months later developed difficulties with balance with ataxia of gait. His gait abnormality progressed slowly over the following years and at the age of 35 he was severely disabled with spastic paraparesis and ataxia using a rolling walker for ambulation and a scooter for longer distances. In particular, his disability had progressed rapidly over the six months preceding the initiation of treatment with EMFs. He as classified have CP MS and his prognosis was considered extremely unfavorable due to the degree of cerebellar and pyramidal tract involvement and the rapid course of deterioration. In July 1995 the patient began experimental treatment with EMFs. While receiving three treatment sessions a week over 12 months he experienced improvement in cerebellar functions such as gait, balance and tremor as well as bowel and bladder functions, mood, sleep and cognitive function and resolution of diplopia, blurring of vision, dysarthria, paresthesias in the hands, and fatigue. Most remarkably, there was no further progression of the disease during the course of magnetic therapy. This case illustrated that treatment with EMFs, in addition to producing symptomatic improvement, also reverses the clinical course of CP MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Nov;88(1-2):75-82.

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Double-blind study of pulsing magnetic field effects on multiple sclerosis.

Richards TL, Lappin MS, Acosta-Urquidi J, Kraft GH, Heide AC, Lawrie FW, Merrill TE, Melton GB, Cunningham CA.

Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

We performed a double-blind study to measure the clinical and subclinical effects of an alternative medicine magnetic device on disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). The MS patients were exposed to a magnetic pulsing device (Enermed) where the frequency of the magnetic pulse was in the 4-13 Hz range (50-100 milliGauss). A total of 30 MS patients wore the device on preselected sites between 10 and 24 hours a day for 2 months. Half of the patients (15) randomly received an Enermed device that was magnetically inactive and the other half received an active device. Each MS patient received a set of tests to evaluate MS disease status before and after wearing the Enermed device. The tests included (1) a clinical rating (Kurtzke, EDSS), (2) patient-reported performance scales, and (3) quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) during a language task. Although there was no significant change between pretreatment and posttreatment in the EDSS scale, there was a significant improvement in the performance scale (PS) combined rating for bladder control, cognitive function, fatigue level, mobility, spasticity, and vision (active group -3.83 +/- 1.08, p < 0.005; placebo group -0.17 +/- 1.07, change in PS scale). There was also a significant change between pretreatment and posttreatment in alpha EEG magnitude during the language task recorded at various electrode sites on the left side. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we have demonstrated a statistically significant effect of the Enermed magnetic pulsing device on patient performance scales and on alpha EEG magnitude during a language task.

J Altern Complement Med. 1997 Spring;3(1):21-9.

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Bioelectromagnetic applications for multiple sclerosis.

Richards TL, Lappin MS, Lawrie FW, Stegbauer KC.

Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

There are EM effects on biology that are potentially both harmful and beneficial. We have reviewed applications of EM fields that are relevant to MS. It is possible that EM fields could be developed into a reproducible therapy for both symptom management and long-term care for MS. The long-term care for MS would have to include beneficial changes in the immune system and in nerve regeneration.

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 1998 Aug;9(3):659-74.

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Serotonergic neuronal sprouting as a potential mechanism of recovery in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is widely considered as an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Damage to the bulbospinal serotonergic (5-HT) neurons occurs in the early paralytic stages of EAE in rats with the severity of neurologic signs corresponding to spinal serotonergic depletion. Neurologic recovery of EAE rats is associated with reestablishment of spinal 5-HT transmission possibly through sprouting of undamaged axons and nerve terminals. Damage to the bulbospinal serotonergic fibers also occurs in patients with MS (as reflected by reduced lumbar CSF 5-HIAA levels) and may contribute to several manifestations of the disease including autonomic dysregulation, sensory symptoms (i.e., paresthesias, pain) and motor symptoms (weakness, spasticity, clonus). Spinal serotonergic neuronal sprouting with regeneration of 5-HT nerve terminals may also occur in the early stages of MS and may be associated with spontaneous remission of MS symptoms following an acute relapse. Sprouting of serotonergic neurons may also explain the disparity in MS between the extent of demyelinating plaques and clinical signs of the disease. The chronic course of MS may be associated with progressive axonal degenerative changes with reduction of serotonergic nerve terminals and loss of their sprouting capability. It is proposed that the beneficial effects of treatment with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields on the symptoms and course of the disease in patients with chronic progressive MS may be related in part to renewed sprouting of serotonergic neurons.

Int J Neurosci. 1999 Mar;97(1-2):131-8.

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Therapy of day time fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Zifko UA.

Sonderkrankenanstalt fur Neurologie, Klinik Pirawarth, Kurhausstrasse 100, A-2222 Bad Pirawarth. zifko@klinik-pirawarth.at

Fatigue is the most common symptom of multiple sclerosis. 75%-90% of patients with multiple sclerosis report having fatigue, and 50%-60% describe it as the worst symptom of their disease. Fatigue is significantly associated with reduced quality of life and is also a major reason for unemployment, especially for patients with otherwise minor disability. The mechanisms underlying abnormal levels of fatigue in multiple sclerosis are poorly understood. To date, drug treatment has been only partially successful in alleviating fatigue, and effects vary widely from patient to patient. Amantadine and modafinil showed to be effective in the treatment of fatigue in some studies. Non-pharmacological management of fatigue in multiple sclerosis includes inpatient rehabilitation and endurance training. There is also evidence, that pulsing electromagnetic fields may improve fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis. This paper summarizes the recent literature on pathophysiology, diagnosis and therapy of the most common symptom of multiple sclerosis.

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2003;153(3-4):65-72.

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Effects of a pulsed electromagnetic therapy on multiple sclerosis fatigue and quality of life: a double blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Lappin MS, Lawrie FW, Richards TL, Kramer ED.

Energy Medicine Developments, (North America), Inc., Burke, Va., USA.

CONTEXT: There is a growing literature on the biological and clinical effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields. Some studies suggest that electromagnetic therapies may be useful in the treatment of chronic illnesses. This study is a follow-up to a placebo controlled pilot study in which multiple sclerosis (MS) patients exposed to weak, extremely low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields showed significant improvements on a composite symptom measure.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of a pulsed electromagnetic therapy on MS related fatigue, spasticity, bladder control, and overall quality of life.

DESIGN: A multi-site, double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover trial. Each subject received 4 weeks of the active and placebo treatments separated by a 2-week washout period.

SETTING: The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle Wash, the Neurology Center of Fairfax in Fairfax, Va, and the headquarters of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America in Cherry Hill, NJ.

SUBJECTS: 117 patients with clinically definite MS.

INTERVENTION: Daily exposure to a small, portable pulsing electromagnetic field generator.

MAIN OUTCOME: The MS Quality of Life Inventory (MSQLI) was used to assess changes in fatigue, bladder control, spasticity, and a quality of life composite. RESULTS: Paired t-tests were used to assess treatment differences in the 117 subjects (81% of the initial sample) who completed both treatment sessions. Improvements in fatigue and overall quality of life were significantly greater on the active device. There were no treatment effects for bladder control and a disability composite, and mixed results for spasticity.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence from this randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial is consistent with results from smaller studies suggesting that exposure to pulsing, weak electromagnetic fields can alleviate symptoms of MS. The clinical effects were small, however, and need to be replicated. Additional research is also needed to examine the possibility that ambulatory patients and patients taking interferons for their MS may be most responsive to this kind of treatment.

Altern Ther Health Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;9(4):38-48.

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Reversal of visuospatial hemi-inattention in patients with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

The occurrence of cognitive impairment including visuoperceptive and visuospatial deficits have long been recognized to occur in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) particularly among patients with a chronic progressive course. In MS visuospatial and visuoperceptive deficits have been attributed to the presence of diffuse demyelinating plaques which "disconnect" the brainstem reticular formation and other subcortical structures involved in attention and arousal from cortical areas thus causing a state of hypoarousal. It has been reported recently that brief external applications of alternating pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range intensity improved visuoperceptive and visuospatial functions in MS patients. The present communication concerns three female patients with chronic progressive course of MS (mean age: 52.3 +/- 2.0 yrs; mean duration of illness: 17.6 +/- 10.2 yrs) who, on tests of free drawings, demonstrated visuospatial hemi-inattention as a feature of more global cognitive deterioration. In all patients brief applications of EMFs rapidly reversed this cognitive deficit. These findings support prior observations demonstrating that pT EMFs may bring about reversal of certain cognitive deficits in MS patients which, to my knowledge, remain unaffected by any other treatment modality.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Dec;79(3-4):169-84.

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Reversal of visuospatial hemi-inattention in patients with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

The occurrence of cognitive impairment including visuoperceptive and visuospatial deficits have long been recognized to occur in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) particularly among patients with a chronic progressive course. In MS visuospatial and visuoperceptive deficits have been attributed to the presence of diffuse demyelinating plaques which "disconnect" the brainstem reticular formation and other subcortical structures involved in attention and arousal from cortical areas thus causing a state of hypoarousal. It has been reported recently that brief external applications of alternating pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range intensity improved visuoperceptive and visuospatial functions in MS patients. The present communication concerns three female patients with chronic progressive course of MS (mean age: 52.3 +/- 2.0 yrs; mean duration of illness: 17.6 +/- 10.2 yrs) who, on tests of free drawings, demonstrated visuospatial hemi-inattention as a feature of more global cognitive deterioration. In all patients brief applications of EMFs rapidly reversed this cognitive deficit. These findings support prior observations demonstrating that pT EMFs may bring about reversal of certain cognitive deficits in MS patients which, to my knowledge, remain unaffected by any other treatment modality.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Dec;79(3-4):169-84.

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Resolution of dysarthria in multiple sclerosis by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

It has been reported that 50% or more of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) exhibit speech impairment (dysarthria) which in some cases can be exceedingly disabling. Currently there is no effective medical treatment for the dysarthria of MS which occurs as a result of lesions to the cerebellum and its outflow tracts. It was reported recently that extracranial application of brief AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range intensity produced in patients with MS sustained improvement in motor functions including cerebellar symptomatology. This communication concerns two MS patients with a chronic progressive course who exhibited severe dysarthria which improved already during the initial treatment with pulsed EMFs and which resolved completely 3-4 weeks later. Since application of EMFs has been shown to alter: (a) the resting membrane potential and synaptic neurotransmitter release through an effect involving changes in transmembrane calcium flux; and (b) the secretion of pineal melatonin which in turn influences the synthesis and release of serotonin (5-HT) and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) in the cerebellum, it is suggested that the immediate improvement of the dysarthria occurred as a result of changes in cerebellar neurotransmitter functions particularly 5-HT and GABA rather than from remyelination.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Nov;83(1-2):81-92.

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Reversal of alexia in multiple sclerosis by weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

The occurrence of cognitive deficits in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been recognized since 1877 when Charcot first observed "enfeeblement of memory" in his patients. Cognitive deficits have been reported in almost 50% of patients with a relapsing-remitting course and in a significantly higher percentage of patients with a chronic progressive course leading to intellectual disability which is often severe enough to preclude employment. MS is considered a form of subcortical dementia and the occurrence of classical cortical disorders such as aphasia, agnosia and apraxia is reported to be rare in the disease. However, in my experience alexia, a reading impairment unrelated to visual acuity or visual field defects, is common in patients with MS. Recently, I reported that treatment with picotesla range electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is an efficacious modality in the management of both the motor and cognitive symptoms of MS. Three patients with MS who developed alexia as a manifestation of the disease are presented. In all patients the alexia was reversed several months after they began treatment with EMFs. Since alexia usually reflects a disconnection syndrome whereby lesions involving the left visual cortex and the splenium of the corpus callosum disconnect language association areas from visual association areas, it is suggested that reversal of the alexia in these patients by EMFs was related to improved interhemispheric transcallosal transmission of visual information. In addition, it is conceivable that changes in the metabolism of monoamines, which are involved in visual information processing and reading comprehension, may have been important in causing reversal of the alexia. This report further supports the unique efficacy of this treatment modality in reversing specific cognitive deficits in MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Nov;83(1-2):69-79.

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Premenstrual exacerbation of symptoms in multiple sclerosis is attenuated by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

It has been suspected that hormonal factors contribute to the etiology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). A direct relationship between MS and endocrine functions is suggested by changes in disease activity during the phases of the menstrual cycle. A subset of women with MS experience premenstrual worsening of symptoms which improve dramatically with the onset of menstruation. The biological mechanisms underlying these changes in disease activity are unexplained but may be related to cyclical fluctuations in gonadal sex steroid hormones, abrupt changes in the activity of the endogenous opioid peptides and fluctuations in plasma melatonin levels which affect neuronal excitability and immune functions. Extracerebral application of weak electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla range intensity has been reported efficacious in the treatment of MS with patients experiencing sustained improvement in motor, sensory, autonomic, affective and cognitive functions. The present report concerns two women with chronic progressive stage MS who experienced, coincident with increasing functional disability, regular worsening of their symptoms beginning about a week before menstruation and abating with the onset of menstruation. These symptoms resolved two months after the initiation of treatment with EMFs. The report supports the association between the endocrine system and MS and indicates that brief, extracranial applications of these magnetic fields modifies the activity of neuroendocrine systems which precipitate worsening of MS symptoms premenstrually.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Dec;83(3-4):187-98.

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Bidirectional effect of electromagnetic fields on ketanserin-induced yawning in patients with multiple sclerosis: the role of melatonin.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

5-HT2 receptors regulate sleep including yawning behavior. Ritanserin, a selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, increases the duration of slow wave in rats and humans. This effect is more pronounced during the light period when melatonin plasma levels are low; melatonin inhibits the sleep effects of ritanserin. These findings indicate that melatonin co-determines the effects of ritanserin on sleep. In a cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients ketanserin, a selective 5-HT2A receptor antagonist, induces recurrent yawning particularly when administered in daytime. The frequency of yawning induced by the drug was modified by AC pulsed picotesla flux electromagnetic fields (EMFs) which affect melatonin secretion. Two MS patients are presented in whom the frequency of ketanserin-induced yawning was altered in opposite directions by these EMFs. The first patient, a 50 year old woman with a remitting-relapsing course, developed recurrent yawning and sleepiness after administration of ketanserin (10 mg, PO). Yawning was decreased dramatically during application of EMFs but was unaffected by a placebo EMFs treatment. The second patient, a 35 year old man with a chronic progressive course, manifested a single and brief yawn after administration of an equal dose of ketanserin. Yawning was increased dramatically during application of EMFs while remaining unchanged during a placebo EMFs treatment. These observations demonstrate a bidirectional effect of picotesla flux EMFs on ketanserin-induced yawning which may be related to differences in daytime melatonin plasma levels among MS patients. If validated by estimations of melatonin plasma levels in a larger cohort of patients the information derived from the effects of picotesla EMFs on ketanserin-induced yawning could be used to: (a) assess pineal melatonin functions in patients with MS; (b) indicate differences in pineal functions between male and female MS patients; and (c) indicate a relationship between plasma melatonin levels and the fatigue of MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Mar;85(1-2):93-9.

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Treatment with weak electromagnetic fields attenuates carbohydrate craving in a patients with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Pharmacological studies have implicated serotonergic (5-HT) neurons in the regulation of food intake and food preference. It has been shown that the urge to consume carbohydrate rich foods is regulated by 5-HT activity and that carbohydrate craving is triggered by 5-HT deficiency in the medical hypothalamus. Ingestion of carbohydrate foods stimulates insulin secretion which accelerates the uptake of tryptophan, the precursor of 5-HT and melatonin, into the brain and pineal gland, respectively. Thus, carbohydrate craving might be considered a form of "self medication" aimed at correcting an underlying dysfunction of cerebral 5-HT and pineal melatonin functions. A 51 year old woman with remitting-progressive MS experienced carbohydrate craving during childhood and adolescence and again in temporal association with the onset of her first neurological symptoms at the age of 45. Carbohydrate craving, which resembled the pattern observed in patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), was attenuated by a series of extracranial AC pulsed applications of picotesla (10(-12) Tesla) flux intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs). It is suggested that AC pulsed EMFs applications activated retinal mechanisms which, through functional interactions with the medial hypothalamus, initiated an increased release of 5-HT and resynchronization of melatonin secretion ultimately leading to a decrease in carbohydrate craving. The occurrence of carbohydrate craving in early life may have increased the patient's vulnerability to viral infection given the importance of 5-HT and melatonin in immunomodulation and the regulation of the integrity of the blood brain barrier. The recurrence of this craving in temporal relation to the onset of neurological symptoms suggests that 5-HT deficiency and impaired pineal melatonin functions are linked to the timing of onset of the clinical symptoms of the disease. The report supports the role of experimental factors in the pathophysiology of MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Jul;86(1-2):67-77.

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Suicidal behavior is attenuated in patients with multiple sclerosis by treatment with electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

A marked decrease in the levels of serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite (5-HIAA) has been demonstrated in postmortem studies of suicide victims with various psychiatric disorders. Depression is the most common mental manifestation of multiple sclerosis (MS) which accounts for the high incidence of suicide in this disease. CSF 5-HIAA concentrations are reduced in MS patients and nocturnal plasma melatonin levels were found to be lower in suicidal than in nonsuicidal patients. These findings suggest that the increased risk of suicide in MS patients may be related to decreased 5-HT functions and blunted circadian melatonin secretion. Previous studies have demonstrated that extracerebral applications of pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla range rapidly improved motor, sensory, affective and cognitive deficits in MS. Augmentation of cerebral 5-HT synthesis and resynchronization of circadian melatonin secretion has been suggested as a key mechanism by which these EMFs improved symptoms of the disease. Therefore, the prediction was made that this treatment modality would result in attenuation of suicidal behavior in MS patients. The present report concerns three women with remitting-progressive MS who exhibited suicidal behavior during the course of their illness. All patients had frequent suicidal thoughts over several years and experienced resolution of suicidal behavior within several weeks after introduction of EMFs treatment with no recurrence of symptoms during a follow-up of months to 3.5 years. These findings demonstrate that in MS pulsed applications of picotesla level EMFs improve mental depression and may reduce the risk of suicide by a mechanism involving the augmentation of 5-HT neurotransmission and resynchronization of circadian melatonin secretion.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Oct;87(1-2):5-15.

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Progressive cognitive improvement in multiple sclerosis from treatment with electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

It has long been recognized that cognitive impairment occurs in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) particularly among patients with a chronic progressive course. MS is considered a type of "subcortical dementia" in which cognitive and behavioral abnormalities resemble those observed in patients with a frontal lobe syndrome. The Bicycle Drawing Test is employed for the neuropsychological assessment of cognitive impairment specifically that of mechanical reasoning and visuographic functioning. It also provides clues concerning the patient's organizational skills which are subserved by the frontal lobes. Extracerebral pulsed applications of picotesla flux intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have been shown to improve cognitive functions in patients with MS. I present three patients with long standing symptoms of MS who, on the initial baseline, pretreatment Bicycle Drawing Test, exhibited cognitive impairment manifested by omissions of essential details and deficient organizational skills. All patients demonstrated progressive improvement in their performance during treatment with EMFs lasting from 6-18 months. The improvement in cognitive functions, which occurred during the initial phases of the treatment, was striking for the changes in organizational skills reflecting frontal lobe functions. These findings demonstrate that progressive recovery of cognitive functions in MS patients are observed over time through continued administration of picotesla flux intensity EMFs. It is believed that the beneficial cognitive effects of these EMFs are related to increased synaptic neurotransmission and that the progressive cognitive improvement noted in these patients is associated with slow recovery of synaptic functions in monoaminergic neurons of the frontal lobe or its projections from subcortical areas.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Jan;89(1-2):39-51.

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Role of the pineal gland in multiple sclerosis: a hypothesis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, NY, USA.

Despite intensive research over the past several decades, the etiology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) remain elusive. The last 20 years have seen only meager advances in the treatment of the disease in part because too much attention has been devoted to the process of demyelination and its relationship to the neurologic symptoms and recovery of the disease. A host of biological phenomena associated with the disease involving interactions among genetic, environmental, immunologic, and hormonal factors, cannot be explained on the basis of demyelination and, therefore, require refocusing attention on alternative explanations, one of which implicates the pineal gland as the pivotal mover of the disease. This review summarizes the evidence linking dysfunction of the pineal gland with the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and course of the disease. The pineal hypothesis of MS also provided the impetus for the development of a novel and highly effective therapeutic modality, one that involves the transcranial application of AC pulsed electromagnetic fields in the picotesla flux density.

J Altern Complement Med. 1997 Fall;3(3):267-90.

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Measurement of central motor conduction in multiple sclerosis by magnetic brain stimulation.

Hess CW, Mills KR, Murray NM.

Central motor conduction time (CMCT) to abductor digiti minimi was measured in 18 healthy subjects and in 15 patients with multiple sclerosis. A novel percutaneous magnetic stimulator was used to stimulate the motor cortex painlessly and CMCT was calculated by subtracting the onset latency of muscle responses obtained by electrical stimulation over the C7/T1 interspace from that obtained from stimulation over the scalp. In healthy subjects CMCT was 6.0 +/- 0.76 ms. In multiple sclerosis patients with pyramidal signs in the arms, CMCT was almost always prolonged, the longest conduction time being 39 ms. In 10 patients CMCT was prolonged despite normal strength in the muscle.

Lancet. 1986 Aug 16;2(8503):355-8.

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Multiple sclerosis: improvement of visuoperceptive functions by picoTesla range magnetic fields.

Sandyk R, Iacono RP.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

The occurrence of cognitive deficits in multiple sclerosis (MS) has been recognized since 1877 when Charcot first observed "enfeeblement of memory" in his patients. Recent studies employing standardized neuropsychological tests have confirmed the high incidence of cognitive deficits in MS patients particularly those with a chronic progressive course of the disease. Visuoperceptive and visuomotor deficits commonly occur in MS patients and are thought to reflect damage to attentional systems due to interruption by demyelinating plaques of nerve conduction along the ascending projections from the brainstem reticular formation to the cortex. Impairment of synaptic conductivity due to serotoninergic depletion (5-HT) may contribute to the emergence of cognitive deficits in MS. The present communication concerns a 36 year old patient with MS in whom external application of picoTesla range magnetic fields (MF) resulted in rapid improvement of symptoms including visuoperceptive functions as demonstrated on various drawing tasks. The report confirms the efficacy of picoTesla range MF in the treatment of MS and demonstrates beneficial effects on cognitive functions as well.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Jan-Feb;74(1-4):177-89.

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Paroxysmal itching in multiple sclerosis during treatment with external magnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

Paroxysmal attacks of itching constitute a rare sensory symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is generally thought that paroxysmal itching, a form of subthreshold pain sensation, is caused by transversely spreading ephaptic activation (i.e., activation via an artificial synapse) of axons within a partially demyelinated lesion in fiber tracts in the CNS, most commonly in the spinal cord. In MS, attacks of paroxysmal itching have been reported to occur either as the initial symptom of the disease or at the onset of an acute relapse. I present two female MS patients aged 36 and 40 years in whom paroxysmal itching was a prominent sensory symptom which occurred at the onset of treatment with external picoTesla range magnetic fields (MF) and coincident with the process of neurologic recovery. This report suggests that picoTesla range MF may cause activation of neuronal transmission along partially demyelinated axons of pain conduction in the spinal cord. The occurrence of rapid neurologic recovery with initiation of treatment with MF supports the notion that impaired synaptic conductivity rather than demyelination underlies some of the neurologic deficits of MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Mar;75(1-2):65-71.

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Resolution of Lhermitte's sign in multiple sclerosis by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R, Dann LC.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Lhermitte's sign, the occurrence of an electrical sensation passing down the back to the legs on flexion of the neck is a common and characteristic feature of multiple sclerosis (MS) which is related to spinal cord lesions affecting the posterior columns and cervical nerve roots. The Lhermitte's sign, which has been reported to occur at some time in up to 25% of MS patients, is seldom painful but is often a cause of distress to the patient and usually a marker of increased disease activity. Treatment with extracranial picotesla range pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) has been found efficacious in the management of various MS symptoms including pain syndromes. The present communication concerns three MS patients in whom two brief applications of EMFs resulted in resolution of the Lhermitte's sign which emerged during a period of exacerbation of symptoms in one patient and during a prolonged phase of symptom deterioration in the other two patients. As the cause of the Lhermitte's sign is thought to result from the spread of ectopic excitation in demyelinated plaques in the cervical and thoracic regions of the spinal cord, it is hypothesized that the effects of EMFs are related to the reduction of axonal excitability via a mechanism involving changes in ionic membrane permeability. A systemic effect on pain control systems is also postulated to occur secondary to the effects of EMFs on neurotransmitter activity and pineal melatonin functions. This report underscores the efficacy of picotesla EMFs in the management of paroxysmal pain symptoms in MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Apr;81(3-4):215-24.

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Weak electromagnetic fields restore dream recall in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

It is now well established that dreaming is a phenomenon associated with REM sleep and that we dream far more than we can recall. Loss of dream recall has been reported in association with cerebral lesions of different sites with predilection to the posterior cerebral hemispheres. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disorder characterised by the presence of diffuse pathological lesions affecting cortical, subcortical, and brainstem areas which are implicated in the generation and maintenance of REM sleep as well as dream recall. Although MS is associated with a high incidence of sleep disturbances, little is known about the frequency of dreaming and particularly dream recall in these patients and their association with such features as the course of the disease, extent of neurological deficits, rate of progression, sites of demyelinating plaques on MRI scan, and recovery. In my experience morning dream recall and probably dreaming activity become infrequent with the onset and/or during periods of exacerbation of the disease. The present communication concerns four selected MS patients who experienced alterations in dream content and loss of morning dream recall during the course of the disease. In all patients dream recall was restored, along with improvement in neurological symptoms, following the external application of a series of treatments with weak electromagnetic fields (EMFs). These findings suggest that in MS morning dream recall may decline and cease to occur during the course of the disease. Recurrence of dream recall may be a marker of clinical recovery which can be used to assess neurologic improvement in patients undergoing treatment with experimental treatment modalities.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 May;82(1-2):113-25.

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Weak electromagnetic fields improve body image perception in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Neuropsychological studies have demonstrated that multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with various cognitive deficits and it has been suggested that it be considered a form of subcortical dementia. It is now recognized that visuoperceptive and visuomotor deficits commonly occur in MS patients particularly in those with chronic progressive course of the disease. The Human Figure Drawing Test has been employed in the assessment of generalized intellectual deterioration and specifically in the evaluation of visuoperceptive, visuospatial and visuoconstructional abilities in brain injured patients. I have demonstrated recently, on the basis of various drawing test, the external application of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range intensity improved visuoperceptive and visuospatial functions in patients with MS. In the present communication I present five MS patients who were administered the Human Figure Drawing Test before and after a series of treatments with EMFs. Prior to application of EMFs four of these patients' drawings showed distortions, poor perspectives, impoverished facial expression, and lack of attention to details suggesting poor body image perception related to right posterior hemispheric dysfunction. In response to the administration of EMFs the group demonstrated improvement in motor disability which was associated with a striking improvement in the drawing particularly the drawings of the face the perception of which is localized to the right parietal lobe. These findings demonstrate that treatment with pT EMFs improves body image perception in MS patients thus corroborating previous observations which demonstrated this treatment modality to exert beneficial effects on cognitive functions in patients with MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Jun;82(3-4):285-302.

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Resolution of partial cataplexy in multiple sclerosis by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Cataplexy, an ancillary symptom of narcolepsy, involves the sudden loss of muscle tone without altered consciousness usually brought on by sudden excitement or emotional influence and extreme exertions (Guilleminault et al., 1974; Parks et al., 1974; Guilleminault, 1976; Aldrich, 1992; 1993; Scrima, 1981; Baker, 1985). Attacks of generalized cataplexy produce complete atonic, areflexic partial or complete paralysis of striated muscles commonly involving the leg muscles resulting in collapse of the knees and falling while milder forms often termed partial cataplexy may manifest by sagging of the face, eyelid, or jaw, dysarthria, blurred vision, drooping of the head, weakness of an arm or leg, buckling at the knees, or simply a momentary sensation of weakness that is imperceptible to observers (Guilleminault, 1976; Aldrich, 1993). The duration of cataplexy is usually a few seconds, although severe episodes can last several minutes and rarely several hours or days in the case of "status cataplecticus" (Parkes et al., 1974; Guilleminault, 1976; Billiard & Cadilhac, 1985; Aldrich, 1992; 1993). This report concerns a 51 year old man with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis who exhibited daily episodes of partial cataplexy which resolved within 3 weeks after he received treatment with picotesla electromagnetic fields.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Feb;84(1-4):157-64.

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Weak electromagnetic fields increase the amplitude of the pattern reversal VEP response in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Visual evoked potential (VEP) studies are widely used for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and are also useful in monitoring the effects of various therapeutic modalities in the disease. Brief, extracerebral applications of picotesla (pT) range flux intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of low frequency have been shown efficacious in the treatment of motor and cognitive symptoms in MS implying that this treatment modality improves action potential transmission in demyelinating pathways. This report documents three MS patients with a remitting-progressive course in whom two successive brief extracerebral applications of pT range EMFs caused an immediate increase (and normalization) of the amplitudes of the visual evoked response in the eye previously affected by optic neuritis. However, the pretreatment prolonged latencies of the evoked responses remained essentially unchanged after the administration of EMFs. Since the latency of the VEP reflects the degree of conduction velocity and the amplitude the degree of conduction block in demyelinating optic pathways, the report demonstrates that extracerebral applications of these EMFs may rapidly reverse conduction block in demyelinating fibers. Reversal of the conduction block, which is though to be related to changes in axonal Na+ and K+ channels and synaptic neurotransmitter release, accounts for the immediate improvement of vision and other neurological deficits observed in MS patients following exposure to these EMFs.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Mar;85(1-2):79-91.

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Resolution of sleep paralysis by weak electromagnetic fields in a patient with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Sleep paralysis refers to episodes of inability to move during the onset of sleep or more commonly upon awakening. Patients often describe the sensation of struggling to move and may experience simultaneous frightening vivid hallucinations and dreams. Sleep paralysis and other manifestations of dissociated states of wakefulness and sleep, which reflect deficient monoaminergic regulation of neural modulators of REM sleep, have been reported in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A 40 year old woman with remitting-progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) experienced episodes of sleep paralysis since the age of 16, four years prior to the onset of her neurological symptoms. Episodes of sleep paralysis, which manifested at a frequency of about once a week, occurred only upon awakening in the morning and were considered by the patient as a most terrifying experience. Periods of mental stress, sleep deprivation, physical fatigue and exacerbation of MS symptoms appeared to enhance the occurrence of sleep paralysis. In July of 1992 the patient began experimental treatment with AC pulsed applications of picotesla intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of 5Hz frequency which were applied extracerebrally 1-2 times per week. During the course of treatment with EMFs the patient made a dramatic recovery of symptoms with improvement in vision, mobility, balance, bladder control, fatigue and short term memory. In addition, her baseline pattern reversal visual evoked potential studies, which showed abnormally prolonged latencies in both eyes, normalized 3 weeks after the initiation of magnetic therapy and remained normal more than 2.5 years later. Since the introduction of magnetic therapy episodes of sleep paralysis gradually diminished and abated completely over the past 3 years. This report suggests that MS may be associated with deficient REM sleep inhibitory neural mechanisms leading to sleep paralysis secondary to the intrusion of REM sleep atonia and dream imagery into the waking state. Pineal melatonin and monoaminergic neurons have been implicated in the induction and maintenance of REM sleep and the pathogenesis of sleep paralysis and it is suggested that resolution of sleep paralysis in this patient by AC pulsed applications of EMFs was related to enhancement of melatonin circadian rhythms and cerebral serotoninergic neurotransmission.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Aug;90(3-4):145-57.

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Magnetic fields normalize visual evoked potentials and brainstem auditory evoked potentials in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R, Derpapas K.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

The present communication concerns a 46 year old woman with a 10 year history of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in whom external application of magnetic fields (MF) (7.5 picoTesla; 5 Hz) during a period of remission resulted in a rapid and dramatic improvement in symptoms including vision, cerebellar symptomatology (ataxia and dysarthria), mood, sleep, bowel and bladder functions as well as fatigue. Improvement in the patient's symptoms was associated with normalization of the pretreatment latencies of the visual evoked potentials and brainstem auditory evoked potential responses within a week after initiation of magnetic treatment. This report demonstrates that treatment with picoTesla MF is an effective, nonpharmacological modality in the management of MS and for the first time documents reversal of abnormal evoked potential responses by this treatment. The pineal gland is a magnetosensor. As MF affect the release of the pineal gland's principal hormone, melatonin, it is hypothesized that the effects of picoTesla MF in MS are partly mediated by the pineal gland which has recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of MS (Sandyk, 1992 a; b).

Int J Neurosci. 1993 Feb;68(3-4):241-53.

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Magnetic brain stimulation: central motor conduction studies in multiple sclerosis.

Hess CW, Mills KR, Murray NM, Schriefer TN.

Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, National Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Central motor conduction (CMC) was evaluated in 32 normal subjects and 83 patients with multiple sclerosis, and the findings were correlated with clinical signs and evoked potential data. CMC time was obtained from the latency difference in responses from the abductor muscle of the little finger to magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex and electrical stimulation at the C-7/T-1 interspace. Mean CMC time in normal subjects was 6.2 msec (SD 0.86 msec), and amplitudes of responses to cortical stimuli were at least 18% of those obtained with stimuli at the wrist. CMC was abnormal in 60 patients with multiple sclerosis (72%); this correlated well with brisk finger flexor jerks (p less than 0.005). CMC was abnormal in 79% of patients with weakness of the abductor muscle of the little finger and in 54% with a normal muscle. Neurological examination was normal in 7 arms with abnormal CMC. Visual evoked potentials were abnormal in 67%, somatosensory evoked potentials in 59%, and brainstem auditory evoked potentials in 39% of those tested. For each procedure more subjects had abnormal CMC and normal evoked potentials than the reverse. The technique is of value for demonstrating and documenting central motor pathway lesions in multiple sclerosis, especially when physical signs are equivocal.

Ann Neurol. 1987 Dec;22(6):744-52.

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Changes in multi-locally recorded muscle responses following cortex stimulation in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Meyer BU, Zipper S, Conrad B, Benecke R.

Abteilung fur klinische Neurophysiologie der Universitat Gottingen.

The application of transcranial brain stimulation widens the range of neurophysiological tools available for the diagnostic evaluation of impaired function in central conduction pathways. A standardized examination of 25 patients with multiple sclerosis (diagnoses of different certainties using the classification by Bauer) was performed with electrical brain stimulation and EMG recordings from 3 muscles in each of the upper and lower extremities (Fig. 2). The occurrence and the change (amplitude, latency) of abnormal cortically evoked muscle responses correlated with the distribution and the severity of the clinical motor deficits respectively (Fig. 1 to 4 and Tab. 1). Furthermore, in some cases, abnormal responses were found in clinically unaffected limbs. Non-invasive stimulation of the motor cortex may reveal lesions affecting the function of the fast conducting component of the corticospinal tract even when there is no pathological clinical finding. In patients suspected of having multiple sclerosis the use of this technique may allow greater diagnostic certainty or even an early diagnosis.

EEG EMG Z Elektroenzephalogr Elektromyogr Verwandte Geb. 1988 Dec;19(4):241-6.

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Successful treatment of multiple sclerosis with magnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

The present communication concerns a 50 year-old woman with a 15 year history of chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in whom extracranial application of picoTesla magnetic fields (MF) produced a dramatic and sustained improvement in disability. In contrast, administration of melatonin (3 mg, P.O.) produced in this patient a rapid exacerbation of disability which was reversed subsequently by treatment with MF. It is hypothesized that the therapeutic effects of picoTesla MF involve the mediation of the pineal gland which is known to act as a magnetosensor. The report demonstrates, for the first time, the remarkable efficacy of weak MF in the symptomatic treatment of chronic-progressive MS and underscores the pivotal role of the pineal gland in the pathophysiology of MS. If confirmed by a larger cohort of patients, extracranial application of picoTesla MF may prove as an extremely efficacious, nonpharmacological modality for the treatment of MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1992 Oct;66(3-4):237-50.

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Successful treatment of an acute exacerbation of multiple sclerosis by external magnetic fields.

Sandyk R, Derpapas.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

A 55 year old woman with multiple sclerosis presented with a 5 week history of an exacerbation of symptoms. Prominent among these symptoms was trigeminal neuralgia, migraine headaches, blurring of vision, and ataxia of gait. While treatment with carbamazepine (TegretolR) (800 mg/d) and oral prednisolone (15 mg/d) over a 4 week period produced no improvement in symptoms, externally applied magnetic fields (MF) (7.5 picoTesla; 5 Hz) placed over the scalp for a 7 minute period on three different days resulted in a complete resolution of symptoms within two weeks of initiation of treatment. Partial relief of the neuralgic pain and headaches was obtained immediately after completion of the first treatment indicating that resolution of symptoms was related to the effects of MF and not to a spontaneous remission. This is the first report demonstrating the clinical efficacy of pico Tesla range MF in rapidly resolving an acute relapse of MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1993 May;70(1-2):97-105.

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Improvement by picoTesla range magnetic fields of perceptual-motor performance and visual memory in a patient with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R, Iacono RP.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

The occurrence of cognitive deficits in multiple sclerosis (MS) has been recognized since 1877 when Charcot first observed "enfeeblement of memory." It is now recognized that visuoperceptive and visuomotor deficits commonly occur in MS patients particularly in those with a chronic progressive course of the disease. Using various drawing tests as markers of constructional performance, we reported recently that treatment with picoTesla range magnetic fields (MF) rapidly improved visuoperceptive and constructional abilities in patients with MS. We now report a 58 year old man with a 37 year history of chronic progressive MS in whom external application of MF in the picoTesla range produced rapid improvement of neurologic symptoms including walking, balance, sensory symptoms, and bladder functions. The patient's recovery was associated with a significant improvement in perceptual-motor functions as demonstrated on the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure and the Trail Making tests. Specifically, the patient demonstrated a 41% improvement over pretest values on copying the Complex figure and a 72% improvement in recall of the figure immediately after MF treatment. A further 4% improvement on copying the figure and a 27% improvement on recall was demonstrated 24 hours later. On the Trail Making test the patient demonstrated an overall improvement of 39% in Part A of the test and a 24% improvement in Part B of the test 24 hours after application of MF. These findings confirm the beneficial effects of picoTesla range MF in the treatment of MS and demonstrate the unique efficacy of this treatment modality in improving some of the cognitive deficits of the disease.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Sep;78(1-2):53-66.

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Improvement in word-fluency performance in patients with multiple sclerosis by electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT, USA.

Impairment of cognitive functions is well recognized in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), especially those with a chronic progressive course. In fact, MS has been considered a type of "subcortical dementia" in which cognitive and behavioral abnormalities resemble those observed in patients with frontal lobe syndrome. Patients with frontal lobe syndrome are known to exhibit diverse cognitive and behavioral abnormalities which include, among others, diminished spontaneity of speech with difficulties producing appropriate words and phrases. It has been reported recently that extracranial application of extremely weak electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the picotesla range produced improvement in motor and cognitive functions in patients with MS. The present report concerns three women with MS (mean age: 44.3 +/- 8.5 yrs; mean duration of illness: 18.3 +/- 3.5 yrs), two with chronic progressive course and the third with a relapsing-remitting course in whom the Thurstone Word-Fluency Test, a reputed test of frontal lobe function, was administered prior to and following a series of 4 to 5 treatment sessions with EMF. Prior to the initiation of treatment with EMF all patients demonstrated word fluency performance which was well below age and sex-matched normal controls of similar level of education (mean output of MS patients was 42.6 +/- 1.1 words vs. 79.0 +/- 6.2 words of the controls). A series of treatments with EMF produced a 100% increase in word output within a short period of time (mean: 83.3 +/- 14.0 words). These findings suggest that this treatment modality improves frontal lobe functions in patients with MS and corroborate previous reports indicating beneficial effects of EMF on cognitive functions in these patients.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Nov;79(1-2):75-90.

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Chronic relapsing multiple sclerosis: a case of rapid recovery by application of weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

A 54 year-old woman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1985 at the age of 45 after she developed diplopia, slurred speech, and weakness in the right leg. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan obtained in 1985 showed several areas of plaque formation distributed in the periventricular white matter and centrum semiovale bilaterally. Coincident with slow deterioration in her condition since 1990 a second MRI scan was obtained in 1991 which showed a considerable increase in the number and size of plaques throughout both cerebral hemispheres, subcortical white matter, periventricularly and brainstem. In 1994, the patient received treatment with Interferon beta- 1b (Betaseron) for 6 months with no improvement in symptoms. However, following two successive extracranial applications of pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range each of 20 minutes duration the patient experienced an immediate improvement in symptoms most dramatically in gait, balance, speech, level of energy, swallowing, mood, and vision. On a maintenance program of 3 treatments per month the patient's only symptom is mild right foot and leg weakness. The report points to the unique efficacy of externally applied pT range EMFs in the symptomatic treatment of MS, indicates a lack of an association between the extent of demyelinating plaques on MRI scan and rate and extent of recovery in response to EMFs, and supports the notion that dysfunction of synaptic conductivity due to neurotransmitter deficiency particularly of serotonin (5-HT) contributes more significantly to the development of MS symptoms than the process of demyelination which clinically seems to represent an epiphenomenon of the disease.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Jun;82(3-4):223-42.

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Long term beneficial effects of weak electromagnetic fields in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

A 39 year-old severely disabled woman with a 19 year history of chronic relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) began to experience improvement in symptoms within 24 hours after she received experimental treatment with picotesla electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Pattern reversal visual evoked potential (VEP) study obtained three weeks after the initiation of the first magnetic treatment showed a return to normal of the P100 latencies in each eye. The patient continued to receive 1-2 EMFs treatments per week and during the following 32 months she made a dramatic recovery with resolution of diplopia, blurring of vision, dysarthria, ataxia of gait, and bladder dysfunction as well as improvement in fatigue, heat tolerance, mood, sleep, libido, and cognitive functions. VEP studies, which were repeated in April of 1995 more than 2 1/2 years after the initiation of magnetic treatment, showed that P100 latencies remained normal in each eye providing objective documentation that continued application of these EMFs may sustain normal conduction in the damaged optic pathways over a long period of time. This is the first case report documenting the dramatic long term beneficial effects of treatment with picotesla range EMFs in a patient with MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Nov;83(1-2):45-57.

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Application of weak electromagnetic fields facilitates sensory-motor integration in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Electrophysiological studies in behaving animals have shown the function of cerebral serotonin (5-HT) neurons to be altered in association with motor output in both the tonic and repetitive modes and also in relation to an orienting response. Brainstem 5-HT neurons increase their firing rate two to five-fold during repetitive motor activity to facilitate motor output while simultaneously suppressing transmission in sensory pathways. Reciprocally, during an orienting response motor activity is suppressed and 5-HT neuronal activity is inhibited to facilitate transmission of sensory information. These reciprocal changes in 5-HT neuronal activity serve to facilitate brainstem reticular sensory-motor integration which, due to 5-HT neurotransmission deficiency, may be disrupted in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). For instance, MS patients are unable to process auditory information in the presence of competing ambient stimuli, while under a controlled laboratory environment they demonstrate unimpaired verbal information processing. This report concerns three MS patients who experienced rapid deterioration in balance resulting in falling when subjected, during ambulation, to distracting external auditory stimuli. After receiving a series of treatments with low frequency picotesla range intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which were applied extracranially for brief periods, these patients experienced resolution of these symptoms with ambulation being unaffected by auditory stimuli. It is suggested that application of picotesla EMFs may restore abnormal reticular sensory-motor integration in MS patients with the effect being related to facilitation of 5-HT neurotransmission at both junctional (synaptic) and nonjunctional neuronal target sites.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Mar;85(1-2):101-10.

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Effect of weak electromagnetic fields on body image perception in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Cerebellar ataxia is one of the most disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and also one of the least responsive to pharmacotherapy. However, cerebellar symptoms often improve dramatically in MS patients by brief, extracerebral applications of picotesla flux electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This report concerns two MS patients with chronic disabling ataxia who experienced rapid improvement in gait and balance after receiving a series of treatments with EMFs. To assess whether improvement in cerebellar gait is accompanied by changes in body image perception, a parietal lobe function, both patients were administered the Human Figure Drawing Test before and after a series of brief treatments with EMFs. Prior to application of EMFs these patients' free drawings of a person showed a figure with a wide-based stance characteristic of cerebellar ataxia. After receiving a series of EMFs treatments both patients demonstrated a change in body image perception with the drawings of the human figure showing a normal stance. These findings demonstrate that in MS improvement in cerebellar symptoms by pulsed applications of picotesla EMFs is associated with changes in the body image.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Jul;86(1-2):79-85.

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Lack of a correlation between demyelinating plaques on MRI scan and clinical recovery in multiple sclerosis by treatment with electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

A 50 year-old woman presented in January of 1995 with a prolonged history of symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and was classified at the time with a remitting-progressive course. Her chief symptoms included slurring of speech, impairment of vision with intermittent diplopia, difficulties with gait and balance with spastic-ataxic gait, mental depression, insomnia, fatigue, impaired cognitive functions notably poor short term memory and recurrent urinary tract and sinus infections. An MRI scan showed multiple nodular demyelinating lesions scattered in the subcortical white matter and periventricularly of both cerebral hemispheres. Over the following 18 months, while receiving three treatment sessions per week with picotesla electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) which were applied extracranially, she showed a significant recovery in both physical and mental symptoms and additionally experienced decreased susceptibility to infections. In addition, the course of her disease appeared to have stabilized as opposed to the preceding 5 years during which time she experienced insidious, steady deterioration in her functioning. Despite this remarkable clinical recovery through the application of EMFs, and MRI scan obtained at the same diagnostic center 18 months after initiation of treatment with EMFs showed no changes in the number and size of the demyelinating plaques. These findings demonstrate lack of a correlation between recovery of symptoms and the number and extent of demyelinating plaques on MRI scan. It has been known since the days of Charcot in the latter half of the 19th century that in MS there is a great disparity between the histopathological changes of the disease and neurologic deficits. This report enhances the notion that demyelination may reflect an epiphenomenon of the disease.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Jan;89(1-2):29-38.

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Immediate recovery of cognitive functions and resolution of fatigue by treatment with weak electromagnetic fields in a patient with multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Dix Hills, NY, USA.

Cognitive deficits are common among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the cognitive impairment in MS are unknown and there is presently no effective therapeutic modality which has shown efficacy in improving cognitive deficits in MS. A 53 year old college professor with a long history of secondary progressive MS experienced, over the preceding year, noticeable deterioration in cognitive functions with difficulties in short and long term memory, word finding in spontaneous speech, attention and concentration span. Unable to pursue his academic activities, he was considering early retirement. Mental examination disclosed features of subcortical and cortical dementia involving frontal lobe, left hemispheric and right hemispheric dysfunction. Almost immediately following the extracerebral application of AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of 7.5 picotesla intensity and a 4-Hz sinusoidal wave, the patient experienced a heightend sense of well being, which he defined as enhancement of cognitive functions with a feeling "like a cloud lifted off my head." He reported heightend clarity of thinking and during the application of EMFs he felt that words were formed faster and he experienced no difficulty finding the appropriate words. His speech was stronger and well modulated and he felt "energized" with resolution of his fatigue. There was improvement in manual dexterity and handwriting and testing of constructional praxis demonstrated improvement in visuospatial, visuoperceptive and visuomotor functions. It is suggested that some of the cognitive deficits associated with MS, which are caused by synaptic disruption of neurotransmitter functions, may be reversed through pulsed applications of picotesla range EMFs.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Jun;90(1-2):59-74.

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Treatment with electromagnetic fields reverses the long-term clinical course of a patient with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

It is estimated that 10-20% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a chronic progressive (CP) course characterized by an insidious onset of neurological deficits followed by steady progression of disability in the absence of symptomatic remission. To date no therapeutic modality has proven effective in reversing the clinical course of CP MS although there are indications that prolonged treatment with picotesla electromagnetic fields (EMFs) alters the clinical course of patients with CP MS. A 40 year-old woman presented in December of 1992 with CP MS with symptoms of spastic paraplegia, loss of trunk control, marked weakness of the upper limbs with loss of fine and gross motor hand functions, severe fatigue, cognitive deficits, mental depression, and autonomic dysfunction with neurogenic bladder and bowel incontinence. Her symptoms began at the age of 18 with weakness of the right leg and fatigue with long distance walking and over the ensuing years she experienced steady deterioration of functions. In 1985 she became wheelchair dependent and it was anticipated that within 1-2 years she would become functionally quadriplegic. In December of 1992 she began experimental treatment with EMFs. While receiving regularly weekly transcortical treatments with AC pulsed EMFs in the picotesla range intensity she experienced during the first year improvement in mental functions, return of strength in the upper extremities, and recovery of trunk control. During the second year she experienced the return of more hip functions and recovery of motor functions began in her legs. For the first time in years she can now initiate dorsiflexion of her ankles and actively extend her knees voluntarily. Over the past year she started to show signs of redevelopment of reciprocal gait. Presently, with enough function restored in her legs, she is learning to walk with a walker and is able to stand unassisted and maintain her balance for a few minutes. She also regained about 80% of functions in the upper limbs and hands. Most remarkably, there was no further progression of the disease during the 4 years course of magnetic therapy. This patient's clinical recovery cannot be explained on the basis of a spontaneous remission. It is suggested that pulsed applications of picotesla EMFs affect the neurobiological and immunological mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of CP MS.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Aug;90(3-4):177-85.

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Treatment with electromagnetic fields improves dual-task performance (talking while walking) in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with an increased risk of falling resulting from visual disturbances, difficulties with gait and balance, apraxia of gait and peripheral neuropathy. These factors often interact synergistically to compromise the patient's gait stability. It has long been recognized that walking involves a cognitive component and that simultaneous cognitive and motor operations (dual-task) such as talking while walking may interfere with normal ambulation. Talking while walking reflects an example of a dual-task which is frequently impaired in MS patients. Impaired dual-task performance during walking may compromise the patient's gait and explain why in some circumstances, MS patients unexpectedly lose their balance and fall. Frontal lobe dysfunction, which commonly occurs in MS patients, may disrupt dual-task performance and increase the risk of falling in these patients. This report concerns a 36 old man with remitting-progressive MS with an EDSS score of 5.5 who experienced marked increase in spasticity in the legs and trunk and worsening of his gait and balance, occasionally resulting in falling, when talking while walking. His gait and balance improved dramatically after he received two successive transcranial treatments, each of 45 minutes, with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of 7.5 picotesla flux density. Simultaneously, there was improvement in dual-task performance to the extent that talking while walking did not adversely affect his ambulation. In addition, neuropsychological testing revealed an almost 5-fold increase in word output on the Thurstone's Word-Fluency Test, which is sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction. It is suggested that facilitation of dual-task performance during ambulation contributes to the overall improvement of gait and balance observed in MS patients receiving transcranial treatment with AC pulsed EMFs.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Nov;92(1-2):95-102.

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Therapeutic effects of alternating current pulsed electromagnetic fields in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, New York, USA.

Multiple sclerosis is the third most common cause of severe disability in patients between the ages of 15 and 50 years. The cause of the disease and its pathogenesis remain unknown. The last 20 years have seen only meager advances in the development of effective treatments for the disease. No specific treatment modality can cure the disease or alter its long-term course and eventual outcome. Moreover, there are no agents or treatments that will restore premorbid neuronal function. A host of biological phenomena associated with the disease involving interactions among genetic, environmental, immunologic, and hormonal factors, cannot be explained on the basis of demyelination alone and therefore require refocusing attention on alternative explanations, one of which implicates the pineal gland as pivotal. The pineal gland functions as a magnetoreceptor organ. This biological property of the gland provided the impetus for the development of a novel and highly effective therapeutic modality, which involves transcranial applications of alternating current (AC) pulsed electromagnetic fields in the picotesla flux density. This review summarizes recent clinical work on the effects of transcranially applied pulsed electromagnetic fields for the symptomatic treatment of the disease.

J Altern Complement Med. 1997 Winter;3(4):365-86.

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Treatment with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields normalizes the latency of the visual evoked response in a multiple sclerosis patient with optic atrophy.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Visual evoked response (VER) studies have been utilized as supportive information for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and may be useful in objectively monitoring the effects of various therapeutic modalities. Delayed latency of the VER, which reflects slowed impulse transmission in the optic pathways, is the most characteristic abnormality associated with the disease. Brief transcranial applications of AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla flux density are efficacious in the symptomatic treatment of MS and may also reestablish impulse transmission in the optic pathways. A 36 year old man developed an attack of right sided optic neuritis at the age of 30. On presentation he had blurring of vision with reduced acuity on the right and fundoscopic examination revealed pallor of the optic disc. A checkerboard pattern reversal VER showed a delayed latency to right eye stimulation (P100 = 132 ms; normal range: 95-115 ms). After he received two successive applications of AC pulsed EMFs of 7.5 picotesla flux density each of 20 minutes duration administered transcranially, there was a dramatic improvement in vision and the VER latency reverted to normal (P100= 107 ms). The rapid improvement in vision coupled with the normalization of the VER latency despite the presence of optic atrophy, which reflects chronic demyelination of the optic nerve, cannot be explained on the basis of partial or full reformation of myelin. It is proposed that in MS synaptic neurotransmitter deficiency is associated with the visual impairment and delayed VER latency following optic neuritis and that the recovery of the VER latency by treatment with pulsed EMFs is related to enhancement of synaptic neurotransmitter functions in the retina and central optic pathways. Recovery of the VER latency in MS patients may have important implications with respect to the treatment of visual impairment and prevention of visual loss. Specifically, repeated pulsed applications of EMFs may maintain impulse transmission in the optic nerve and thus potentially sustain its viability.

Int J Neurosci. 1998 Apr;93(3-4):239-50.

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Serotonergic neuronal atrophy with synaptic inactivation, not axonal degeneration, are the main hallmarks of multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

The neurological manifestations of multiple sclerosis (MS) have been considered to result from demyelination of axons with relative preservation of axonal integrity. This concept has been challenged recently by a landmark pathological study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which has demonstrated that axonal degeneration is also present. The authors of the study hypothesized that axonal degeneration is the pathological correlate of the irreversible neurological impairment in this disease. However, this hypothesis cannot be reconciled with the clinical results obtained with transcranial applications of AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of picotesla flux density which have shown rapid and sustained improvement of symptoms including normalization of evoked potential responses in patients with chronic progressive or secondary progressive MS without demyelinated areas first undergoing remyelination or transected axons undergoing regeneration. Biochemical studies have shown that MS patients are serotonergically depleted with the extent of cerebral depletion correlating with the degree of motor disability and a chronic progressive course. It is believed that progressive serotonergic neuronal atrophy with synaptic inactivation, not axonal degeneration, are the hallmarks of the disease and that administration of AC pulsed magnetic fields improves symptoms of MS partly through reactivation of serotonergic neurons and amplification of synaptic serotonergic transmission.

Int J Neurosci. 1998 Jul;95(1-2):133-40.

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Yawning and stretching--a behavioral syndrome associated with transcranial application of electromagnetic fields in multiple sclerosis.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Intracerebral administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) elicits in experimental animals a yawning stretching behavior which is believed to reflect an arousal response mediated through the septohippocampal cholinergic neurons. A surge in plasma ACTH levels at night and just prior to awakening from sleep is also associated in humans with yawning and stretching behavior. Recurrent episodes of uncontrollable yawning and body stretching, identical to those observed upon awakening from physiological sleep, occur in a subset of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) during transcranial therapeutic application of AC pulsed electromagnetic fields of picotesla flux density. This behavioral response has been observed exclusively in young female patients who are fully ambulatory with a relapsing remitting course of the disease who also demonstrate a distinctly favorable therapeutic response to magnetic stimulation. ACTH is employed for the treatment of MS due to its immunomodulatory effects and a surge in its release in response to AC pulsed magnetic stimulation could explain some of the mechanism by which these fields improve symptoms of the disease.

Int J Neurosci. 1998 Jul;95(1-2):107-13.

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Impairment of depth perception in multiple sclerosis is improved by treatment with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Bay Shore, NY 11706, USA.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with postural instability and an increased risk of falling which is facilitated by a variety of factors including diminished visual acuity, diplopia, ataxia, apraxia of gait, and peripheral neuropathy. Deficient binocular depth perception may also contribute to a higher incidence of postural instability and falling in these patients who, for example, find it an extremely difficult task to walk on uneven ground, over curbs, or up and down steps. I report a 51 year old woman with secondary progressive MS who experienced difficulties with binocular depth perception resulting in frequent falls and injuries. Deficient depth perception was demonstrated also on spontaneous drawing of a cube. Following a series of transcranial treatments with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of 7,5 picotesla flux density, the patient experienced a major improvement in depth perception which was evident particularly on ascending and descending stairs. These clinical changes were associated with an improvement in spatial organization and depth perception on drawing a cube. These findings suggest that in MS impairment of depth perception, which is encoded in the primary visual cortex (area 17) and visual association cortex (areas 18 and 19), may be improved by administration of AC pulsed EMFs of picotesla flux density. The primary visual cortex is densely innervated by serotonergic neurons which modulate visual information processing. Cerebral serotonin concentrations are diminished in MS patients and at least some aspects of deficient depth perception in MS may be related to dysfunction of serotonergic transmission in the primary visual cortex. It is suggested that transcranial AC pulsed applications of EMFs improve depth perception partly by augmenting serotonergic transmission in the visual cortex.

Int J Neurosci. 1999;98(1-2):83-94.

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