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Magnetic Therapy Research: Parkinson's Disease

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Further observations on the unique efficacy of picoTesla range magnetic fields in Parkinson's disease.

Sandyk R, Derpapas K.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

External application of picoTesla range magnetic fields (MF) has been reported recently to be efficacious in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) including those who manifest levodopa-related dyskinesias. In the present communication, we present four additional Parkinsonian patients who showed, within a brief period of time, marked improvement in motor symptoms after therapy with MF. Three of the patients had been maintained on antiParkinsonian medication during treatment with MF while the fourth patient had never received pharmacotherapy. Improvement with magnetic therapy was noted not only in the motor sphere (resting tremor, gait apraxia, postural instability), but also in nonmotor aspects of the disease including mood, sleep, pain, anorexia, autonomic, and cognitive functions attesting to the unique efficacy of external picoTesla range MF in the treatment of Parkinsonism. Poverty of facial expression (hypomimia, "masked facies"), which correlates with the degree of striatal dopaminergic deficiency, is one of the clinical hallmarks of PD reflecting the severity of hypokinesia and rigidity in the orofacial musculature. In this report, we emphasize the effects of MF on the hypomimia of PD and provide visual documentation illustrating the changes in the patients' facial expression which follow treatment with MF.

Int J Neurosci. 1993 Mar-Apr;69(1-4):167-83.

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Treatment of Parkinson's disease with magnetic fields reduces the requirement for antiparkinsonian medications.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811.

Recently, I reported that extracranial treatment with picoTesla range magnetic fields (MF) is an effective, safe, and revolutionary modality in the management of Parkinsonism including those patients manifesting levodopa-induced motor complications. This treatment, which has emerged as a potentially more advantageous modality than pharmacologic therapy, also produces improvements in nonmotor aspects of the disease including mood, cognitive functions, sleep, pain, appetite, autonomic functions, and sexual behavior, which are usually minimally, if at all, ameliorated by long term therapy with levodopa or anticholinergic agents. The present communication concerns a 69 year old Parkinsonian patient who, following a series of two treatments with extracranial picoTesla range MF on two separate days, improved to the point where he was able to discontinue most of his antiparkinsonian medications for a period of two weeks without experiencing deterioration in symptoms. On the third week he began to develop recurrence of symptoms and resumed taking his regular medications. At the end of the fourth week the patient received a series of four magnetic treatments on four successive days after he completely discontinued his antiparkinsonian medications. During this period he experienced a remarkable improvement in motor disability as well as in cognitive functions (i.e., visuospatial performance), mood, sleep, appetite, bowel functions and resolution of pain in the lower extremity. This report attests to the antiparkinsonian efficacy of picoTesla range MF and suggests that this treatment, when applied on a regular basis, may reduce the requirement for antiparkinsonian medications. This observation, when confirmed in a larger cohort of patients, may carry important implications for the therapy of Parkinsonism as it may offer an alternative treatment for patients who develop levodopa failure or experience intolerable side effects from dopaminergic medication. The observation that magnetic treatment improved the patient's symptoms while being off dopaminergic therapy supports the role of nondopaminergic mechanisms in the pathophysiology of Parkinsonism.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Jan-Feb;74(1-4):191-201.

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A drug naive parkinsonian patient successfully treated with weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Brief cerebral application of picotesla (pT) electromagnetic fields (EMF) has been demonstrated an efficacious, revolutionary treatment modality for the therapy of Parkinson's disease (PD) with clinical benefits being evident in all motor aspects of the disease as well as in nonmotor symptoms such as mood, sleep, pain, sexual dysfunction, autonomic regulation and cognitive functions. Since treatment with pT EMF has involved PD patients who were treated with dopaminergic agents at the time they received EMF there may have been a synergistic interaction between dopaminergic drugs and EMF. The present communication concerns a 49-year-old male Parkinsonian patient with stage 3 disability on the Hoehn and Yahr scale (1967) who, in response to brief extracranial applications of pT EMF, demonstrated a marked improvement in motor, depressive symptomatology and cognitive functions and was classified as stage 1 several weeks later. This case is remarkable in that the patient did not receive treatment with dopaminergic drugs prior to or during the course of EMF therapy. It suggests that (a) pT range EMF may be efficacious as a monotherapy for PD and should be considered also as a treatment modality for de novo diagnosed patients, and (b) application of these EMF improves Parkinsonism by a mechanism which involves, among others, augmentation of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission.

Int J Neurosci. 1994 Nov;79(1-2):99-110.

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Effect of weak electromagnetic fields on the amplitude of the pattern reversal VEP response in Parkinson's disease.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

Visual evoked potential (VEP) studies are widely used for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and are also useful in monitoring the effects of various therapeutic modalities in the disease. Prolongation of the VEP latencies has been demonstrated in patients with MS and in other neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD), a disorder characterized by deficient cerebral dopamine (DA) functions. Pharmacological and biochemical studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between the amplitude of the VEP response and cerebral DA levels. Since brief, extracerebral applications of picotesla (pT) range flux intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of low frequency have been shown to produce rapid improvement in motor and cognitive symptoms in PD, it is expected that application these EMFs would lead also to an increase in the amplitude of VEP response. This report documents three randomly selected PD patients who, following two successive brief extracerebral applications of pT range EMFs, showed an almost 3-fold increase of the mean pretreatment amplitude of the pattern reversal VEP in response to monocular stimulation. One patient underwent also a placebo EMF treatment which did not result in a significant change in the posttreatment amplitude. The study demonstrates that in Parkinsonian patients extracerebral application of these EMFs rapidly increases in amplitude of the VEP response and, by inference, cerebral DA levels presumably by increasing DA release.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Feb;84(1-4):165-75.

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Reversal of an acute parkinsonian syndrome associated with multiple sclerosis by application of weak electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

NeuroCommunication Research Laboratories, Danbury, CT 06811, USA.

The occurrence of movement disorders and particularly Parkinsonian symptoms is uncommon in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) despite the rather frequent presence of demyelinating plaques in the basal ganglia. This disparity between the occurrence of clinical symptoms in MS and the distribution of demyelinating plaques suggests that impairment of neurotransmitter functions rather than demyelination may be critical to the clinical manifestations of the disease. A 48 year old woman with remitting-progressive MS developed a bilateral Parkinsonian syndrome in association with acute emotional stress which resolved after she received two brief successive extracerebral applications of low frequency picotesla flux density electromagnetic fields (EMFs). It is believed that in this patient Parkinsonism may have existed in a subclinical form and that acute stress, which previously has been shown to precipitate symptoms of Parkinson's disease, triggered the onset of Parkinsonism by further reducing dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission in the basal ganglia. The rapid reversal of the Parkinsonian syndrome by EMFs was related to a presumed augmentation of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission which, on the basis of CSF studies, is reduced in chronic MS patients. The efficacy of EMFs in the treatment of Parkinson's disease had been documented previously but this report demonstrates that this treatment modality is beneficial also for the treatment of Parkinsonism developing in the setting of other neurodegenerative disorders.

Int J Neurosci. 1996 Jul;86(1-2):33-45.

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Treatment with weak electromagnetic fields restores dream recall in a parkinsonian patient.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services, Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Absent or markedly reduced REM sleep with cessation of dream recall has been documented in numerous neurological disorders associated with subcortical dementia including Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and Huntington's chorea. This report concerns a 69 year old Parkinsonian patient who experienced complete cessation of dreaming since the onset of motor disability 13 years ago. Long term treatment with levodopa and dopamine (DA) receptor agonists (bromocriptine and pergolide mesylate) did not affect dream recall. However, dreaming was restored after the patient received three treatment sessions with AC pulsed picotesla range electromagnetic fields (EMFs) applied extracranially over three successive days. Six months later, during which time the patient received 3 additional treatment sessions with EMFs, he reported dreaming vividly with intense colored visual imagery almost every night with some of the dreams having sexual content. In addition, he began to experience hypnagogic imagery prior to the onset of sleep. Cessation of dream recall has been associated with right hemispheric dysfunction and its restoration by treatment with EMFs points to right hemispheric activation, which is supported by improvement in this patient's visual memory known to be subserved by the right temporal lobe. Moreover, since DA neurons activate REM sleep mechanisms and facilitate dream recall, it appears that application of EMFs enhanced DA activity in the mesolimbic system which has been implicated in dream recall. Also, since administration of pineal melatonin has been reported to induce vivid dreams with intense colored visual imagery in normal subjects and narcoleptic patients, it is suggested that enhanced nocturnal melatonin secretion was associated with restoration of dream recall in this patient. These findings demonstrate that unlike chronic levodopa therapy, intermittent pulsed applications of AC picotesla EMFs may induce in Parkinsonism reactivation of reticular-limbic-pineal systems involved in the generation of dreaming.

Int J Neurosci. 1997 Jun;90(1-2):75-86.

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Reversal of a body image disorder (macrosomatognosia) in Parkinson's disease by treatment with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields.

Sandyk R.

Department of Neuroscience, Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Services of Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Macrosomatognosia refers to a disorder of the body image in which the patient perceives a part or parts of his body as disproportionately large. Macrosomatognosia has been associated with lesions in the parietal lobe, particularly the right parietal lobe, which integrates perceptual-sensorimotor functions concerned with the body image. It has been observed most commonly in patients with paroxysmal cerebral disorders such as epilepsy and migraine. The Draw-a-Person-Test has been employed in neuropsychological testing to identify disorders of the body image. Three fully medicated elderly Parkinsonian patients who exhibited, on the Draw-a-Person Test, macrosomatognosia involving the upper limbs are presented. In these patients spontaneous drawing of the figure of a man demonstrated disproportionately large arms. Furthermore, it was observed that the arm affected by tremor or, in the case of bilateral tremor, the arm showing the most severe tremor showed the greatest abnormality. This association implies that dopaminergic mechanisms influence neuronal systems in the nondominant right parietal lobe which construct the body image. After receiving a course of treatments with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla flux density applied transcranially, these patients' drawings showed reversal of the macrosomatognosia. These findings demonstrate that transcranial applications of AC pulsed EMFs affect the neuronal systems involved in the construction of the human body image and additionally reverse disorders of the body image in Parkinsonism which are related to right parietal lobe dysfunction.

Int J Neurosci. 1998 Feb;93(1-2):43-54.

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