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

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

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  • 1NeuroCommunication 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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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