Study Shows Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation Works for Pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mezombie, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    NOTE: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is currently available through a device called Alpha-Stim. A search on this site for Alpha-Stim will bring up posts from people who have tried this and at least one practitioner who has had success with this method.

    I post studies like this periodically because I've found them helpful to show to health practitioners who sometimes need a little prodding to try something that is new to them.


    A randomized, sham-controlled, proof of principle study of transcranial
    direct current stimulation for the treatment of pain in fibromyalgia.

    Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov 28;54(12):3988-3998 [Epub ahead of print]

    Fregni F, Gimenes R, Valle AC, Ferreira MJ, Rocha RR, Natalle L, Bravo R,
    Rigonatti SP, Freedman SD, Nitsche MA, Pascual-Leone A, Boggio PS.

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

    PMID: 17133529

    OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence suggests that fibromyalgia is a disorder
    characterized by dysfunctional brain activity. Because transcranial direct
    current stimulation (tDCS) can modulate brain activity noninvasively and
    can decrease pain in patients with refractory central pain, we hypothesized
    that tDCS treatment would result in pain relief in patients with fibromyalgia.

    METHODS: Thirty-two patients were randomized to receive sham stimulation or
    real tDCS with the anode centered over the primary motor cortex (M1) or the
    dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (2 mA for 20 minutes on 5
    consecutive days). A blinded evaluator rated the patient's pain, using the
    visual analog scale for pain, the clinician's global impression, the
    patient's global assessment, and the number of tender points. Other
    symptoms of fibromyalgia were evaluated using the Fibromyalgia Impact
    Questionnaire and the Short Form 36 Health Survey. Safety was assessed with
    a battery of neuropsychological tests. To assess potential confounders, we
    measured mood and anxiety changes throughout the trial.

    RESULTS: Anodal tDCS of the primary motor cortex induced significantly
    greater pain improvement compared with sham stimulation and stimulation of
    the DLPFC (P < 0.0001). Although this effect decreased after treatment
    ended, it was still significant after 3 weeks of followup (P = 0.004). A
    small positive impact on quality of life was observed among patients who
    received anodal M1 stimulation. This treatment was associated with a few
    mild adverse events, but the frequency of these events in the
    active-treatment groups was similar to that in the sham group. Cognitive
    changes were similar in all 3 treatment groups.

    CONCLUSION: Our findings provide initial evidence of a beneficial effect of
    tDCS in fibromyalgia, thus encouraging further trials.

    [This Message was Edited on 07/05/2008]
  2. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    From MindHacks:

    The April 13, 2006 New Scientist has an article of interest to mind and brain enthusiasts: an account of a new brain intervention that involves passing a small electrical current through the head.

    The feature article is on a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), something I've not heard of before but which seems to have some serious research supporting its use.

    It sounds like quackery, but it's not. A growing body of evidence suggests that passing a small electric current through your head can have a profound effect on the way your brain works. Called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the technique has already been shown to boost verbal and motor skills and to improve learning and memory in healthy people - making fully-functioning brains work even better. It is also showing promise as a therapy to cure migraine and speed recovery after a stroke, and may extract more from the withering brains of people with dementia. Some researchers think the technique will eventually yield a commercial device that healthy people could use to boost their brain function at the flick of a switch.

    Unfortunately, the article isn't available freely online, but you should be able to get the issue from your local newsagent or library.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/28/2008]
  3. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    ...who have FMS and are interested in research. This is for you guys! I luckily don't have FM anymore. But I came across this and thought it was very interesting.

    What do you think?
  4. fight4acure

    fight4acure Member

    Thanks hon! Sorry I did not see this earlier!

  5. ulala

    ulala New Member

    it's made by Moeller Medical and there have been many posts about it.

    Fibromyalgia’s New Foe: High-Tech Medical Device Shows Increasing Efficacy for the Debilitating Symptoms of FMS
    Fibromyalgia patients worldwide are seeing rapid improvement in their symptoms from a high-tech medical device.

    Cincinnati, OH (PRWEB via PRWeb) September 6, 2006 -- Fibromyalgia patients worldwide are seeing rapid improvement in their symptoms from a high-tech medical device indicated for depression, anxiety, insomnia, and pain.

    The device employs two distinct technologies, Microcurrent Electrotherapy Technology (MET) and Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), to treat psychological and physical symptoms. It has been used by professional sports teams, such as the Dallas Cowboys and Indiana Pacers, and pain specialists to treat pain disorders successfully. Recently, rheumatologists have begun prescribing it for their fibromyalgia patients who are reporting significant results.

    “The results are so positive in such a difficult-to-treat population that one becomes skeptical,” says Robert S. Katz, M.D. of Chicago, IL while responding to a study on the device. “However, it is hard to dispute the present data. 90% of the patients treated with the CES reported improvement in quality of life.”

    While the degree of improvement varies for each patient, some patients are seeing life-changing results.

    Joellen Cross, a patient with chronic fibromyalgia, saw almost a complete turnaround rather quickly. “I received my unit last July, and went from despondent and weary from the chronic pain, to nearly pain-free, and elated at the change, in less than a week,” she says. “And the depression I was experiencing more and more as the chronic pain progressed is all but eliminated.”

    Fibromyalgia is seen in about 3 to 6% of the population and there are few effective treatments available. Given that many fibromyalgia patients cannot tolerate medication, this device is seen as a welcome non-drug approach by patients and physicians to treat its symptoms.

    Marilyn Lins, M.D., of Utica Neurological Surgery, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma said that the results she has been obtaining have been close to miraculous. A pain specialist, Dr. Lins reported on several fibromyalgia patients who have had sufficient pain relief to resume normal activities with as little as two 20 minute treatments per week. One of her patients stopped limping after only one treatment. Dr. Lins said, “[CES has forever changed my treatment approach. I have never experienced results like I have had in the past two months.”

    “Some rheumatology practices are writing orders for these devices for their entire fibromyalgia caseloads,” said Karl Moeller, President and CEO of Moeller Medical, LLC, distributor of the device. “Our goal is to have every fibromyalgia patient try our treatment. Most will benefit to some degree and some will have dramatic improvement.”

    Moeller Medical has set up two informational websites for patients and physicians to learn about the device, Depression Treatment Now and Anxiety Treatment Now, and plans to follow up with informative sites later this year for insomnia and chronic pain.

    About Moeller Medical, Inc.

    Moeller Medical, LLC is a privately held company based in Cincinnati, OH. Moeller Medical is dedicated to bringing safe, quality healthcare products to the patient and medical community and is proud to offer a completely non-invasive drug-free form of psychological and pain treatment. For more information; visit or

    For more information:
    Karl Moeller
    President and CEO
    Moeller Medical, LLC
    513-297-4975 ext. 101


  6. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I'm a fan of double-blinded studies. The more proof that something really works, the better.

    Fight, do you think this is worth adding to your research thread?
  7. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    A "new" device similar to this one hit the news recently for its ability to stop migraines in its tracks. Unfortunately, the migraine device is not yet FDA approved. I wonder if the one for FM is, and would also be effective for migraines?
  8. inbetweendays

    inbetweendays New Member

    this helped me to sleep....however it has been reported by some alternative practitioners that the machine can make the brain uptake too many amino acids--which is not good---so i guess you can not overuse it....
  9. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Mezombie,

    Thanks for posting this information and bumping it up recently. I just ran across an article here at immunesupport that says CES is also effective for migraines. It can be accessed at:

    <a href="">Low-Level Brain Stimulation Repeatedly Proven Effective for Fibromyalgia</a>.

    At the end of the article, they have the website address for the maker of this product so will post that link below:

    <a href="">Alpha-Stim</a>

    At the end of the article, it states that "The Alpha-Stim SCS unit and supplies are available at" Click <a href="">here</a> for Immunesupport Alpha-Stim SCS product information.

    Click <a href="">here</a> for Alpha-Stim SCS Product Information on Alpha-Stim's website. It has more information than what is available at the Immunesupport website.

    Regards, Wayne

  10. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Wow, Wayne!

    Thanks so much for finding and posting all this great information! I will definitely check out all the links (as soon as my right eye stops throbbing, lol).

    That was very nice of you.


  11. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Jracula,

    I agree with you on the costs. I would love to go out and get one right away, but what if it doesn't work $895 worth for me? However, if it does work, I would sure love to say goodbye to a lot of my brain problems that this unit apparently can be helpful for.

    Thought I'd mention there is sort of a concurrent thread going on about this entitled <a href="">New Subscriber</a>. It was started by a new member and chiropractor who has been using this in his practice and has much experience with it. He is posting some insightful information on that thread.

    Though he uses this in his practice and also markets the devices, his intent seems to be to get the word out so that more people can be helped. I imagine it would be obvious to him that he would be in competition with ProHealth if he tried to market this here on this board.

    He mentioned that sometimes insurance will cover this, and I left a question for him as to whether Medicare will cover this as well. Apparently this has been approved by the FDA and has some pretty impressive studies backing the validity of this treatment. It apparently works very well for pets as well.

    Regards, Wayne
    [This Message was Edited on 07/03/2008]
  12. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Mezombie,

    I seem to remember you have some pretty significant problems with sensory overload (as do I). This is one area where I was wondering if microcurrent therapy might be helpful. Though my SO symptoms have improved, they could still use a lot of help. What a relief that could be!

    How's your throbbing eye doing? :)

  13. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Great idea, Wayne! Wow, it would be wonderful if it worked for SO.

    Unfortunately, my throbbing eye pain of this morning turned into a migraine :(

    I've ingested the maximum amount of Excedrin Migraine tablets and am now snorting peppermint extract.

    I will have to read more about this later. I don't dare risk looking at a computer screen too much!


  14. cjcookie

    cjcookie New Member

    understand. I swear, though, I was this close to letting a friend taser my thigh that is numb to see if the electrical current would help me. No, I'm not crazy, I didn't actually do it. I just have a feeling that electrical stimulation would help somehow.
  15. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi again Mezombie,

    After hearing about your migraine misery, I thought I'd copy and paste the following from the "New Subscriber" thread I mentioned earlier.

    "At a health fair recently I treated a woman with a migraine so bad that on a 1/10 scale she rated it as a 12, tried to vomit twice during the treatment and literally crawled to my booth in pain. It took about 15 minutes but I got her down to a 0. Needless to say she was very happy."

    Who's to say whether it would work this well for everybody, but it certainly does seem to warrant further investigation.

    Hope you're doing at least a bit better.

    Regards, Wayne
  16. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    and it does seem there are several variations of them just coming on the market. The one that was in the news this week regarding migraines was called Neuralieve I believe.

    It makes sense to me that the pain, insomnia and oh so many other abnormalities could respond to this kind of stimulation. Seems to me that what many of us are dealing with is a kind of LOOP...that would maybe reboot correctly if only it could be SHUT DOWN first.

    It also seems like it would be good business to sell them with a "money-back" guarantee good for a month or so. I'd find SOME way to get my hands on that kind of money just to give it a trial if I knew I could return it if it had no effect for me. If it was effective it would truly be a bargain! But, I think most of us sure can't afford to gamble with 1 grand.
  17. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Thanks for posting the info on our chiropractor friend's success with Alpha-Stim for migraines.

    I will definitely bring this up with my pain doc when he comes back from vacation!

    As to me, I had a pain-free day yesterday, which I promptly blew by going outside (in the heat!) and overdoing it. Today the beast bit back and I'm back in migraine uhm, opposite of paradise, lol.

    I have found that taking extra magnesium, on the advice of a fellow member of this board, seems to be help with migraine prevention (assuming I don't do anything moronic, like what I did yesterday). Yay!

    Thanks for your concern.

  18. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    I just discovered there is a rent-to-own option available for $119.95/month for seven months on the Alpha-Stim 100.

    Do a Google Search on:

    we offer rent-to-own plans

    You'll only get two results with one of them being the Alpha-Stim.

    All rental payments can be applied toward the purchase price at any time, plus the rental agreement can be terminated at any time. If you rent for seven months, you will have it paid for entirely.

    I was also reading there can be some side effects, one being a metallic taste in the mouth. Most side effects seem minor, but it would sure be nice to know about any before buying one.

    Regards, Wayne
    [This Message was Edited on 07/05/2008]
  19. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I have FMS, depression, anxiety and insomnia, so I'd be an ideal candidate for Alpha-Stim 100. My DH also has chronic pain in the upper half of his body, due to his work. He has to take Vicodan daily to be able to work.

    We can no longer afford to go to the Chiro or the acupuncturist, since the economic collapse is affecting my DH's business. I heard about A-stim and thought it might be a solution.

    I had a long talk with the man at the company Wayne mentioned that does the rentals for #119.95/mo., which is a much better deal than the Mfg. of the A-stim. He told me to forget Medicare, which is my ins., and go for my DH's, which is Blue Cross, but he said it must be coded as a TENS unit to get any of it paid for. He also told me I live in the part of the country where docs are most backwards about prescribing these (the southeast).

    Our PCP refuses to write a script for it unless we provide her with records from our Chiro and acupuncturist saying that we need it. Both of them would never do that, since having the Alpha-Stim would eliminate our need to see them anymore. Also, our acupuncturist has never heard of it, and our Chiro has her own E-stim machine which she prefers. E-stim is like TENS, which made me a LOT worse...too strong!

    I tried our Cardiologist, on the grounds that it might lower my blood pressure (an established side effect), but that would not help with insurance, since my DH has low blood pressure and we need the script in his name, since he is the one with Blue Cross.

    How did those of you who got an alpha-stim get your docs to prescribe it?
    Also, what type of doctor prescribed it for you?
    Have any of you used both the A-stim and a TENS?
    If so, how did the effects differ?
    Has anyone else who uses an A-stim with good results had a TENS tighten your muscles but not release them, like I did?

    Sorry for all the questions. I am at a loss as to what to try next. I guess I should have posted this on that Chiro's thread, since he might be ableto answer me. Oh well, too late now.

    Thanks for any advice,
    [This Message was Edited on 08/13/2008]

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