Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Mal de Debarquement Syndrome.
Cha YH, Cui Y, Baloh RW, Department of Neurology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California., U.S.A.
OBJECTIVE: Mal de debarquement syndrome (MdDS) is a chronic disorder of imbalance characterized by a feeling of rocking and swaying. The disorder starts after prolonged exposure to passive motion such as from a boat or plane. All medical treatment is palliative and symptoms that persist beyond 6 months show low likelihood of remission. This pilot study explored the feasibility and tolerability of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as potential treatment for MdDS.
PATIENTS/INTERVENTION: Ten subjects (8 women) with persistent MdDS lasting from 10 to 91 months were given 1 session each of 4 counterbalanced protocols: left 10 Hz (high frequency), left 1 Hz (low frequency), right 10 Hz, and right 1 Hz rTMS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC).
RESULTS: 1) Right-handers improved most with 10-Hz stimulation over the left DLPFC while left-handers improved most with 10 Hz stimulation over the right DLPFC; 2) low-frequency DLPFC stimulation was associated with symptom worsening in some subjects; 3) duration of symptoms was negatively correlated with treatment response; 4) rTMS was well tolerated in MdDS subjects, showing similar rates of headache (10 of 40 sessions) as for other studies; and 5) fatigue occurred after 6 sessions usually with low-frequency stimulation.
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The abstract presented here is from an Epub [Ahead-of-print] article. It has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication and posted online before print publication. Medical professionals may access the full article via the US National Library of Medicine/NIH site.