The therapeutic effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on clinical performance was assessed by a double-blind study in 9 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Nine other patients underwent sham stimulation as controls. The modified Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) staging scale, the Schwab and England Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scale, and the Unified Parkinson’s disease rating scale (UPDRS) were used to assess changes of clinical performance. Patients were assessed prior to and following 2 months of rTMS. In addition, the mechanism of rTMS was investigated by dopamine and homovanillic acid (HVA) in the lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 17 patients before and after therapeutic rTMS for three or four months. rTMS was applied manually to the frontal areas 60 times per session, i. e., 30 times per side using a large circular coil, a pulse intensity of 700 V, and a frequency of 0.2 Hz. Sessions were continued once a week for 2 months. The 9 control patients showed no changes of symptoms between the initial evaluation and that after 2 months of sham rTMS. In contrast, all 9 patients receiving rTMS showed a significant decrease of the modified H&Y and UPDRS scores after 2 months, while the Schwab and England ADL Scale scores increased significantly. In the second CSF sample from patients receiving rTMS, HVA showed a significant decrease These results suggest that rTMS is beneficial for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and that it may act via inhibition of dopaminergic systems.

J Neurol 2001 Sep;248 Suppl 3:III48-52
Shimamoto H, Takasaki K, Shigemori M, Imaizumi T, Ayabe M, Shoji H.
Shimamoto Neurosurgical Clinic, Kurume University School of Medicine, Ohnojo-city, Fukuoka, Japan.