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.

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 September 2, 2014 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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:
from the past week

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