In seven women and two men with Parkinson’s disease, Hoehn and Yahr stage 1 or 2, the effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was evaluated. Primary endpoint outcome measure was the changing of the motor items of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (subscale III of UP-DRS) 24 h after stimulation. Kinesiologic tests and writing samples were secondary outcome measures. After discontinuing all medication, stimulation was performed with 5 Hz at 90% of the motor threshold over the primary motor cortex of the more affected. There were 2250 stimuli applied, divided into 15 trains at intervals of 10 s. The identical treatment of the opposite side served as control treatment. Only treatment of the more affected side resulted in a significant improvement of the clinical symptoms of 46% as assessed by the UPDRS (p < 0.02). This effectiveness differed significantly from the control treatment (21%, p < 0.02). The kinesiological testing did not show any significant speeding of movements (p > 0.05). Some patients showed a normalisation of the previously disturbed handwriting specimen. These data confirm the previous observation that rTMS of primary motor regions leads to at least temporary clinical improvement of symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Nervenarzt 2001 Dec;72(12):932-8
de Groot M, Hermann W, Steffen J, Wagner A, Grahmann F.
Klinik und Poliklinik fur Neurologie, Universitatsklinikum Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 22a, 04103 Leipzig.