Case series indicates effectiveness of direct-current stimulation in multiple sclerosis patients


A case series conducted by Courtney Ellerbusch (Centura Home Health, Colorado, USA) on multiple sclerosis (MS) patients has found quantitative improvements in strength, spasticity, and range of motion, over a series of 18 treatments with Neubie direct-current neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) therapy—as per a NeuFit press release.

“This is a small pilot study case series, so to make conclusions requires abundant humility and caution,” said Ellerbusch. “The tolerance of the electrical stimulation combined with intensive functionally driven exercise is remarkable. Out of a possible 126 visits, only one was missed due to UTI [urinary tract infection] symptoms outside of anyone’s control and not related to the treatment.

“The improvements in ambulatory ability and ability to use electrical stimulation to eliminate clonus allowing for standing training in progressive cases of MS stands out as noteworthy. I am also struck by how much the psychological component impacts the functional outcomes, and those with a positive outlook tended to celebrate their achievements and look for more opportunities to move successfully.”

The case series in question consisted of a six-week period of home health-delivered physical therapy (18 visits) for seven participants with progressive MS and mobility impairment, as indicated by the expanded disability status scale (EDSS). Each participant underwent a four-part intervention with NMES therapy designed to address specific aspects of their condition, including neuropathy, spasticity, strengthening, and functional movements.

From this case series, the researchers concluded that—in individuals with progressive MS—electrical stimulation with the Neubie device is “feasible and well tolerated”, NeuFit’s release notes. The results demonstrate that the device can be used to reduce hypertonicity in forms of spasticity, and enable improvements in agonist muscle strength and functional outcome measures. Though derived from a small sample size, the case series’ findings are “promising”, and support the use of the Neubie device for managing MS symptoms, the release adds.

NMES therapy uses direct-current electrical stimulation to communicate with mechanoreceptors of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). This action supports functional changes for a variety of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared indications, including neuromuscular re-education and increasing range of motion, according to NeuFit.

“One of the unique ways that our device can be used is in individuals with neurological disorders, and conditions to improve nerve and motor function,” said NeuFit’s director of research Ramona von Leden. “We have heard many anecdotes from our certified practitioners who have used it with their patients with marked success. It is exciting to see these results published by one of our research partners, which definitively show the effectiveness of direct-current electrical stimulation with the Neubie for improving quality of life for patients with neurological conditions like MS.”


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