Magnetic Therapy

Below is a list of our references and abstracts concerning magnetic therapy.


Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 1998 Aug;9(3):659-74

Bioelectromagnetic applications for multiple sclerosis.

Richards TL, Lappin MS, Lawrie FW, Stegbauer KC

Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

There are EM effects on biology that are potentially both harmful and beneficial. We have reviewed applications of EM fields that are relevant to MS. It is possible that EM fields could be developed into a reproducible therapy for both symptom management and long-term care for MS. The long-term care for MS would have to include beneficial changes in the immune system and in nerve regeneration.


Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 1999 Aug;10(3):729-54

Evolution of magnetic therapy from alternative to traditional medicine.

Vallbona C, Richards T

Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Static or electromagnetic fields have been used for centuries to control pain and other biologic problems, but scientific evidence of their effect had not been gathered until recently. This article explores the value of magnetic therapy in rehabilitation medicine in terms of static magnetic fields and time varying magnetic fields (electromagnetic). A historical review is given and the discussion covers the areas of scientific criteria, modalities of magnetic therapy, mechanisms of the biologic effects of magnetic fields, and perspectives on the future of magnetic therapy.


J Altern Complement Med 1997 Spring;3(1):21-9

Published erratum appears in J Altern Complement Med 1997 Summer;3(2):205

Double-blind study of pulsing magnetic field effects on multiple sclerosis.

Richards TL, Lappin MS, Acosta-Urquidi J, Kraft GH, Heide AC, Lawrie FW, Merrill TE, Melton GB, Cunningham CA

Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

We performed a double-blind study to measure the clinical and subclinical effects of an alternative medicine magnetic device on disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). The MS patients were exposed to a magnetic pulsing device (Enermed) where the frequency of the magnetic pulse was in the 4-13 Hz range (50-100 milliGauss). A total of 30 MS patients wore the device on preselected sites between 10 and 24 hours a day for 2 months. Half of the patients (15) randomly received an Enermed device that was magnetically inactive and the other half received an active device. Each MS patient received a set of tests to evaluate MS disease status before and after wearing the Enermed device. The tests included (1) a clinical rating (Kurtzke, EDSS), (2) patient-reported performance scales, and (3) quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) during a language task. Although there was no significant change between pretreatment and posttreatment in the EDSS scale, there was a significant improvement in the performance scale (PS) combined rating for bladder control, cognitive function, fatigue level, mobility, spasticity, and vision (active group -3.83 +/- 1.08, p < 0.005; placebo group -0.17 +/- 1.07, change in PS scale). There was also a significant change between pretreatment and posttreatment in alpha EEG magnitude during the language task recorded at various electrode sites on the left side. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we have demonstrated a statistically significant effect of the Enermed magnetic pulsing device on patient performance scales and on alpha EEG magnitude during a language task.


,In Biologic Effects of Light 1998 Symposium, Eds Holick MF, Jung EG, Kluwer Academic Publishers: Boston, pg. 337-342, 1999

Pulsing magnetic field effects on brain electrical activity in multiple sclerosis

Richards TL, Acosta-Urquidi, J

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system. Clinical symptoms include central fatigue, impaired bladder control, muscle weakness, sensory deficits, impaired cognition, and others. The cause of MS is unknown, but from histologic, immunologic, and radiologic studies, we know that there are demyelinated brain lesions (visible on magnetic resonance images) that contain immune cells such as macrophages and T-cells (visible on microscopic analysis of brain sections) Recently, a histologic study has also shown that widespread axonal damage occurs in MS along with demyelination. What is the possible connection between MS and bioelectromagnetic fields? We recently published a review entitled "Bioelectromagnetic applications for multiple sclerosis," which examined several scientific studies that demonstrated the effects of electromagnetic fields on nerve regeneration, brain electrical activity (electroencephalography), neurochemistry, and immune system components. All of these effects are important for disease pathology and clinical symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS). EEG was measured in this study in order to test our hypothesis that the pulsing magnetic device affects the brain electrical activity, and that this may be a mechanism for the effect we have observed on patient-reported symptoms. The EEG data reported previously were measured only during resting and language conditions. The purpose of the current study was to measure the effect of the magnetic device on EEG activity during and after photic stimulation with flashing lights. After photic stimulation, there was a statistically significant increase in alpha EEG magnitude that was greater in the active group compared to the placebo group in electrode positions P3, T5, and O1 (analysis of variance p<.001, F=14, DF = 1,16). In the comparison between active versus placebo, changes measured from three electrode positions were statistically significantly even after multiple comparison correction.