The primary aim of the study was to investigate the effect of 10-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on pain in fibromyalgia. Secondary aims were to determine its effects on stiffness, fatigue, quality of life, depression/anxiety, and cognitive functions.
Twenty participants were randomized into two groups. Group A received 10-Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and group B received sham stimulation. Visual analog scale for pain, visual analog scale–stiffness, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and Fatigue Severity Scale were assessed at the baseline, 2nd, and 6th weeks, whereas Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale and Addenbrooke’s cognitive examination were assessed at the baseline and 6th week.
There was no significant difference in visual analog scale–pain and Fatigue Severity Scale within and between groups over time (P > 0.05). In group A, significant improvement was found in visual analog scale–stiffness and fibromyalgia impact questionnaire at the 2nd week in comparison to the baseline (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference was detected in comparison with group B. There was no significant change in Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale scores between and within groups. All cognitive measures were similar in terms of differences from baseline between the groups (P > 0.05).
High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex did not show any significant beneficial effect on pain, stiffness, fatigue, quality of life, mood, and cognitive state over sham stimulation.