BACKGROUND: The patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) often consider fatigue the most debilitating symptom they experience, but conventional medicine currently offers poorly efficacious therapies. OBJECTIVE: We executed a replication study of an innovative approach for relieving MS fatigue. METHODS: According to the sample size estimate, we recruited 10 fatigued MS patients who received 5-day transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in a randomized, double-blind, Sham-controlled, crossover study, with modified Fatigue Impact Scale (mFIS) score reduction at the end of the treatment as primary outcome. A personalized anodal electrode, shaped on the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived individual cortical folding, targeted the bilateral whole-body primary somatosensory cortex (S1) with an occipital cathode. RESULTS: The amelioration of fatigue symptoms after Real stimulation (40% of baseline) was significantly larger than after Sham stimulation (14%, p = 0.012). Anodal whole body S1 induced a significant fatigue reduction in mildly disabled MS patients when the fatigue-related symptoms severely hampered their quality of life. CONCLUSION: This second result in an independent group of patients supports the idea that neuromodulation interventions that properly select a personalized target might be a suitable non-pharmacological treatment for MS fatigue.
- Multiple sclerosis
- quality of life
- regional personalized electrode (RePE)
- transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)