Long-term effects of Bio-Electromagnetic-Energy Regulation therapy on fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis

Altern Ther Health Med. Nov-Dec 2011;17(6):22-8.

Abstract

Background: Electromagnetic-field therapy has beneficial short-term effects in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with major fatigue, but long-term data are lacking. PRIMARY STUDY OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the long-term effects of a specific electromagnetic therapy device (Bio-Electromagnetic- Energy-Regulation [BEMER]) on MS-related fatigue, we designed a crossover control of a previously performed randomized controlled trial and a long-term open-label follow-up trial.

Design and setting: Crossover and open-label follow-up trials at a single neurological outpatient center.

Participants: Patients with relapsing-remitting MS who had major fatigue (N = 37 patients).

Intervention: After a previous randomized controlled trial (exposure to low-frequency pulsed magnetic fields for 8 min twice daily or to placebo treatment for 12 wk), a crossover from control to treatment for another 12 weeks, followed by an open label follow-up trial to 3 years, were done.

Primary outcome measures: The outcome criteria were the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), German long version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Multiple Sclerosis Functional Scale (MSFC), and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).

Results: Patients previously on placebo during the randomized controlled trial experienced significant reductions in fatigue after crossing over to treatment. The MFIS and FSS scores were significantly lower in the open-label group than in the control subjects after follow-up. Participation in the open-label treatment was the strongest predictor of low fatigue outcome after followup. Electromagnetic-field therapy was well tolerated.

Conclusions: In this long-term study, a beneficial effect of long-term BEMER therapy on MS fatigue was demonstrated. Electromagnetic-field therapy may be a useful therapeutic modality in MS patients with severe fatigue.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / prevention & control
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / prevention & control
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / therapy*
  • Muscle Spasticity / rehabilitation
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Design
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Treatment Outcome