Introduction: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been used to treat symptoms from many disorders; biochemical changes occurred with this treatment. Preliminary studies with rTMS in patients with taste and smell dysfunction improved sensory function and increased salivary carbonic anhydrase (CA) VI and erythrocyte CA I, II. To obtain more information about these changes after rTMS, we measured changes in several CA enzymes, proteins, and trace metals in their blood plasma, erythrocytes, and saliva.
Methods: Ninety-three patients with taste and smell dysfunction were studied before and after rTMS in an open clinical trial. Before and after rTMS, we measured erythrocyte CA I, II and salivary CA VI, zinc and copper in parotid saliva, blood plasma, and erythrocytes, and appearance of novel salivary proteins by using mass spectrometry.
Results: After rTMS, CA I, II and CA VI activity and zinc and copper in saliva, plasma, and erythrocytes increased with significant sensory benefit. Novel salivary proteins were induced at an m/z value of 21.5K with a repetitive pattern at intervals of 5K m/z.
Conclusions: rTMS induced biochemical changes in specific enzymatic activities, trace metal concentrations, and induction of novel salivary proteins, with sensory improvement in patients with taste and smell dysfunction. Because patients with several neurologic disorders exhibit taste and smell dysfunction, including Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and multiple sclerosis, and because rTMS improved their clinical symptoms, the biochemical changes we observed may be relevant not only in our patients with taste and smell dysfunction but also in patients with neurologic disorders with these sensory abnormalities.