Microcurrent Therapy Benefits for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Microcurrent therapy is one of the better, yet least known, therapies available for patients with multiple sclerosis. It relieves pain, clears brain fog, improves neurological and physical function, reduces spasticity, and, in tandem with physical therapy, helps increase energy and stamina. There is emerging evidence microcurrent treatment also aids in healing the myelin sheath damaged by multiple sclerosis.
We use the Acuscope and Myopulse systems for working with clients with multiple sclerosis. These instruments use a biofeedback system that recognizes the difference between healthy and damaged tissues, then determines the frequency and current level needed to repair damaged areas. As damaged tissues recover and the energy requirements of cells change, the microcurrent instrument’s processors detect the new requirements and adjust its waveform to accommodate the specific needs of the regenerating tissue. Through this process, cells release waste products, draw in nutrients, and return to normal functions.
For multiple sclerosis patients, we use several different microcurrent techniques. We start with cranial electrical stimulation (CES). CES is a non-invasive, safe technique that is FDA-approved as a treatment for anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue and chronic pain, among others. We use a set of ear clips applied to each earlobe, a headband that allows us to move the therapy point to various areas of the brain, and a bar that goes at the base of the skull to stimulate the vagus nerve. In combination, these techniques let us give a patient a full range of microcurrent stimulation for optimal healing. We also use a series of tool and instruments to treat spinal nerves associated with various pain and functional damage points. A final set of techniques focuses on muscles and connective tissues to improve spasticity and loss related to nerve dysfunction.
A first stage study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University confirms that Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES) decreases fatigue and increases cognition in MS patients.
In the Johns Hopkins study, a small group of patients with secondary progressive MS received CES treatments over a five day period. Those who received CES reported significantly decreased fatigue. When given a sham stimulation technique, the same participants reported an increase in fatigue. There also was a strong trend toward improvement in verbal immediate recall during the CES treatment period.
“MS is associated with difficulties in cognitive functioning and also with cognitive fatigue, so we’re interested in understanding the relationship between cognition and fatigue and also looking at ways to ameliorate those problems,” said Dr. Tracy Vannorsdall, one of the lead researchers. “We know that [CES] helps the underlying neurons fire more readily so it takes away some of the neural effort in a sense. What we wanted to see is if we could facilitate cognition.., and if we could improve fatigue” related to practicing working memory tasks and processing speed tasks, spatial span tasks, and a perceptual comparison task.
On four occasions prior to and following each 5-day study wave, participants completed several cognitive function assessments. Participants also completed self-report measures of mood and fatigue. They also completed a side effects survey looking at mental and physical changes.
Researchers found that CES was safe and well tolerated. No adverse events occurred. There was no significant difference in the change in depression scale ratings over the course of sham stimulation compared to changes over the course of true stimulation. Dr. Vannorsdall added, “We found that our participants improved under the anodal stimulation condition with respect to their cognitive functioning — statistically significant differences were found in a measure of verbal short-term memory, learning and memory, but we saw trends toward improvements in working memory and other cognitive skills.” These preliminary findings suggest that CES may improve fatigue and minimize cognitive dysfunction in MS.
Patients often report significant benefits immediately after or within 24 hours following a microcurrent therapy session. Benefits generally last between four days to a week during early stages of treatment. Benefits last longer as treatments continue. In some cases, the benefits of microcurrent therapy have continued without loss after people complete a series of 10 to 12 treatments. Other patients, particularly those with long-standing symptoms, have reported benefits after six treatments. Microcurrent therapy shows positive results for many patients, even when other treatments have failed.