Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Efficacy on Pain and Quality of Life of Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Keywords:Transcranial direct current stimulation, Fibromyalgia, Chronic pain, Quality of life
Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain disorder which is determined by pain and accompanying symptoms such as emotional distress, fatigue, and sleep inconvenience. One opinion is that it may be associated with changes in pain and sensory processing in the central nervous system (CNS), especially nociceptive pathways. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on pain and quality of life (QOL) of patients with FM syndrome (FMS) by affecting the level of neurotransmitters and changing the functional connectivity of the stimulated region.
Methods: This study was a randomized double-blinded sham-control clinical trial. The groups were matched in terms of gender, age, education, pain duration, and premenstrual syndrome. In the case group, patients received M1 anodal stimulation with 2 mA constant current for 20 minutes for ten sessions (3 times a week). QOL and pain improvement were measured with Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) forms before and 2 weeks (short-term) and 10 weeks (long-term) after the 10-session treatments.
Results: 80 patients with inclusion criteria were enrolled, out of which 12 were excluded due to lack of cooperation. The remaining 68 patients [46 (68%) women] had an average age of 46 years. Pain intensity was significantly lower in the case group compared to the sham group 2 weeks and 10 weeks after the treatment (P < 0.001). The QOL in patients 2 weeks after the treatment showed no significant improvement compared to the baseline, but 10 weeks after the treatment, QOL was higher than the sham group (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Our results imply that tDCS is a safe and effective method in treating patients with FMS by reducing the pain and QOL improvement.
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