Slow-frequency rTMS reduces fibromyalgia pain

Shirlene M. Sampson, Jeffrey D. Rome, Teresa A. Rummans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Objective. Evidence suggests that fibromyalgia (FM) is a centrally mediated pain disorder. Antidepressants, including electroconvulsive therapy, provide some symptomatic relief in FM and other pain disorders. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a new antidepressant treatment, which may also be useful in treating chronic pain. Design. As part of a larger study, four women with depression, FM, and borderline personality disorder received 1-Hz rTMS applied to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Subjects rated pain using an 11-point Likert scale. Results. Pretreatment pain averaged 8.2 (7-9.5) and reduced to 1.5 (0-3.5) after treatment (P < 0.009). All had improvement in pain, and two had complete resolution of pain. Only one of the four subjects had an antidepressant response. Conclusions. These preliminary findings suggest a possible role for rTMS in treating FM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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