Improvement of right hemispheric functions in a child with Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome by weak electromagnetic fields

Int J Neurosci. 1995 Apr;81(3-4):199-213. doi: 10.3109/00207459509004887.


Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (GTS) is a chronic, familial neuropsychiatric disorder of unknown etiology characterized clinically by the occurrence of motor and vocal tics and by the presence of a variety of neurobehavioral and neurocognitive abnormalities including hyperactivity, self-multilatory behavior, obsessive-compulsive behavior, learning disabilities, and conduct disorder. On the basis of neuropsychological assessments it has been suggested that GTS is associated with greater right than left hemispheric dysfunction which accounts for decrements in visuospatial, visuoconstructional and visuomotor skills in these patients. Recent case studies have demonstrated that extracranial application of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the picotesla (pT) range intensity improves visuospatial and visuoperceptive functions in patients with neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. I now present a 6 1/2 year old boy with GTS in whom this treatment modality produced, in addition to symptomatic behavioral improvement, also improvement in visuoconstructional and visuomotor skills as evidenced on various drawing tasks particularly copy of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, a task which is especially vulnerable to right hemispheric functions. These findings suggest that pT range EMFs may be useful for the treatment of GTS and related disorders and also reverse some of the cognitive impairments associated with the disease which are related to right hemispheric dysfunction and which contribute to learning disabilities in these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena*
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pineal Gland / physiology
  • Projective Techniques
  • Tourette Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Tourette Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Tourette Syndrome / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome