Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transcranial direct current stimulation improves sleep in patients with post-polio syndrome

Date:
August 26, 2013
Source:
IOS Press BV
Summary:
Of the 15 million people around the world who have survived poliomyelitis, up to 80% report progressive deteriorating strength and endurance many years after infection. Researchers have found that transcranial direct current stimulation for 15 days improved sleep and fatigue symptoms in patients, suggesting this non-invasive tool may be a new therapeutic option for this condition.

Of the 15 million people around the world who have survived poliomyelitis, up to 80% report progressive deteriorating strength and endurance many years after infection, a condition known as post-polio syndrome (PPS). Researchers in Italy from the National Hospital for Poliomyelitis, the Policlinico G.B. De Rossi in Verona, and the University of Milan have found that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for 15 days improved sleep and fatigue symptoms in patients with PPS, suggesting this non-invasive tool may be a new therapeutic option for this condition. Their results are published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

Related Articles


Post-polio syndrome (PPS) is a neurological disorder that may first appear years after an acute polio infection. In addition to worsening weakness and fatigue, pain, depression, cold intolerance, and sleep disturbances also may occur. Although polio vaccines have drastically decreased the incidence of new cases of polio in industrialized countries, new cases still occur in areas of Asia and Africa. As polio survivors age, PPS symptoms emerge, even in people who have been stable for 15 years or more. The cause of PPS still remains elusive, and there are no definitive treatment options.

The study enrolled 32 patients who had contracted polio at a mean age of 31 months, but then were stable clinically for an average of 55 years. They were referred to a national reference center, the Physical Rehabilitation Medicine Unit at Malcesine Hospital in Verona, Italy, for the treatment of PPS after complaining of progressively worsening weakness and fatigue. Half of the patients were randomly assigned to receive anodal tDCS applied bilaterally to the premotor cortex every day, 5 days a week, for three weeks. The control group received current for 5 seconds (sham tDCS). In preliminary testing, subjects said they could not distinguish between real and sham tDCS.

Patients underwent a battery of tests at baseline and then three weeks later. The tests looked at quality of life, multiple aspects of fatigue, depression, and sleep quality.

The authors found that tDCS treated patients improved more than sham-treated patients on several measures of a patient health survey (the Short Form Health Survey or SF-36), including physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, vitality, social functioning and role limitations due to emotional health. No significant differences were found between the groups on questions related to bodily pain, general health, or mental health.

One of the most noticeable effects of tDCS treatment was an improvement in sleep quality. Scores on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) decreased 65% compared to 25% in the control group, a significant difference (p<0.05). Significant correlations were found between PSQI scores and physical functioning, social functioning, and emotional health. Interestingly, sleep quality improved more in patients who were younger when poliomyelitis developed.

Whether tDCS relieves fatigue directly is still unclear. While fatigue-related sub-items of the SF-36 improved after tDCS, no significant changes were found using specific fatigue-assessment tests such as the Piper Fatigue Scale or the Fatigue Severity Scale. No changes were noted between groups in depression scores.

"tDCS might work by improving sleep. Because changes in sleep quality affect physical and psychological states, improving sleep quality could improve perceived vitality, social and emotional functioning, and, indirectly, also fatigue," says lead investigator Laura Bertolasi, MD, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Italy. "tDCS effects on sleep fit in with results in healthy subjects, fibromyalgia, and schizophrenia."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IOS Press BV. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michele Acler, Tommaso Bocci, Diana Valenti, Mara Turri, Alberto Priori and Laura Bertolasi. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for sleep disturbances and fatigue in patients with post-polio syndrome. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, Volume 31, Number 5 / 2013 DOI: 10.3233/RNN-130321

Cite This Page:

IOS Press BV. "Transcranial direct current stimulation improves sleep in patients with post-polio syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826143724.htm>.
IOS Press BV. (2013, August 26). Transcranial direct current stimulation improves sleep in patients with post-polio syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826143724.htm
IOS Press BV. "Transcranial direct current stimulation improves sleep in patients with post-polio syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130826143724.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins