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

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

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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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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