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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS);
  • treatment;
  • sham stimulation;
  • placebo effect

Abstract

To study the efficacy of 0.2-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on Parkinson's disease (PD), 85 patients with PD were enrolled into three groups: 1) motor cortical, 2) occipital, and 3) sham stimulation. A round coil was centered over the vertex in motor cortical stimulation, and over the inion in occipital stimulation. In one session, 100 stimuli of 0.2-Hz rTMS at an intensity of 1.1 times active motor threshold (AMT) were given. In sham stimulation, electric currents were given with electrodes fixed on the head to mimic the sensation in real stimulation. Each session was carried out once a week for the first 8 weeks. The Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and subjective score (visual analogue scale) were assessed. There were no significant differences in clinical features among the three groups. Total and motor score of UPDRS were improved to the same extent by rTMS over Cz, inion, and sham stimulation. HRSD was improved by rTMS over Cz and sham stimulation in the same manner. Subjective score was not significantly improved by any methods of stimulation. 0.2-Hz rTMS at an intensity of 1.1 × AMT has only a placebo effect on PD. Our realistic sham stimulation maneuver must produce powerful placebo effects as a real stimulation. © 2002 Movement Disorder Society