TitleSympathetic responses to repetitive trans-spinal magnetic stimulation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPaxton, RJ, Malcolm, MP, Newsom, SA, Richards, JC, Rynn, GM, Bell, C
JournalClin Auton Res
Date Published04/2011
KeywordsAdult, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Magnetic Field Therapy, Male, Muscle, Skeletal, Spinal Cord, Sympathetic Nervous System

PURPOSE: Electromagnetic fields have been administered, with mixed success, in order to treat a variety of ailments. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) elicits brief changes in peripheral sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. The purpose of this study was to explore the utility of repetitive trans-spinal magnetic stimulation (rTSMS) for acute and prolonged modulation of SNS in adult humans.

METHODS: 23 healthy men and women were randomly assigned to receive either rTSMS (figure-eight coil aligned with the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae; 10 Hz; n = 14, at 100% intensity of stimulator output) or sham stimulation (n = 13).

RESULTS: Compared with sham, rTSMS did not affect skeletal muscle SNS activity (via microneurography) during the 60-s or 10-min period following stimulation. rTSMS also had no effect on R-to-R interval (RR(int)) and standard deviation of RR(int) (a marker of heart rate variability), blood pressure or plasma concentrations of norepinephrine, epinephrine, insulin and glucose (condition/time interaction, all P > 0.10).

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that rTSMS does not influence SNS in adults. While rTSMS represents a novel application of TMS technology, further study and perhaps modification of the technique is required before use in clinical studies of peripheral SNS function.

Alternate JournalClin. Auton. Res.
PubMed ID21113641
Grant ListAG022053 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States