Opinion: Fibromyalgia Patient: “Not So Fast”!

Opinion: Fibromyalgia Patient: “Not So Fast”!

By Rosemary Lee

Sorry in advance.

This is simply shocking!

Call me old fashioned but I really believe there are things you shouldn’t mess with and randomly shocking your brain is one of them. I know there are times for this protocol; actually they call it brain stimulation, and it can be used for major depression and seizure therapy.

How would you like to be in that clinical trial?

Just imagine……you can stimulate your brain and have no pain. Whoa…..I should be in advertising…..stimulate your brain and have no pain. What a campaign…..there I go again…. it just never ends……anyway……

It’s actually called High Definition trans cranial Direct Current Stimulation or HD-tDCS. You put a few electrodes on your scalp and voila!  A few electric shocks later…..your brain releases opioid like painkillers.

Sounds simple……

Wait…it’s a 20 minutes session and it said it reduces the pain perception and it is safe using established safety protocols. Hmmmm…..I may be one of those people that are sensitive to wording. Must be from years of reading the fine print in contracts.

There can be some side effects. A phosphene (a brief flash of light) at the start of stimulation, headache, dizziness and nausea. Ok, I’m gone at the mere mention of nausea. The one to two milliamps that are used isn’t enough to make neurons start firing but the therapeutic value hasn’t totally been established either. Granted the dose of electricity is very small compared to the doses used for clinical depression or seizures.  Studies have indicated that it is safe for a single use stimulation but results aren’t in for long term stimulation.

Rosemary Lee

Rosemary Lee

My problem with all of this is people get on the bandwagon and some person will figure out a way to have a DIY (do it yourself) way to assemble this and start opening clinics. Once that happens all legitimate research is tainted. It will absolutely fall under the category “that some is good, more is better and too much is just enough.” Laboratories and universities have protocols in order and once you get outside of that arena all those safety protocols go out the window.

I just want to know is how they figured all this out.

How many brains did they have to melt?

Anyway…..the kicker?

The researchers don’t know why this works.

That sentence speaks for itself.

Again, with proper safety protocols………..

Rosemary Lee lives in Las Vegas and is a writer, fibromyalgia sufferer and clear voice who writes for the National Pain Report on matters important to the people who suffer from chronic pain and fibromyalgia. Her work can be viewed here.

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Authored by: Rosemary Lee

There are 12 comments for this article
  1. marty at 4:08 am

    No thanks. I am not willing to be anyone’s lab rat with the chances of more harm coming to me. I guess I will continue to suffer without having my brain messed with.

  2. Michelle Ziemba at 12:44 pm

    I know it’s scary when then the med community says we don’t how it works, but it’s really really true when it comes to the brain. It is the last undiscovered area of our body and we’re just starting to understand it.

    Having survived Trigeminal Neuralgia, it was a lot of hit or miss fior treatments, and there was a lot of “we’re not sure if it will help, it’s something we can try.” One example is Botox. For some, Botox can calm the awful pain TN causes. Not sure why; it’s an off-label use, but there you go. It worked for me once.

    For those who aren’t excited about the use of electricity on their brains, perhaps neurofeedback therapy may be something to look into. Sort of the same set up. Except their using you’re brain activity to “rewire” activity. This is a very simple explanation, but the benefits are extraordinary and they’re learning more every day. For example, it helped to decrease my depression, anxiety and insomnia. It also increased my energy, which all increased a positive attitude. And at times, it even helped to decrease pain. Once, unfortunately, pain was even triggered. But getting a treatment the next day took care of that and we never touched that brain area in my future.

  3. Sandy Auriene Sullivan at 8:58 am

    Thanks for the information Doc Fugedy.

  4. Sandy Auriene Sullivan at 8:56 am

    Safety information sounds like it’s gleaned from use of electroshock therapy in patients who do not respond to medications in depression. [btw ketamine shows promise too]

    Which puts those with FM back in the ‘it’s all in your head’ category and applying methods used to treat mental illness.

    FM is a disease of the CNS [I’m convinced of it as I have it DX only after extensive testing for all other diseases] and have said for 16yrs; it’s like someone turned on the signals the CNS sends to my brain and it won’t turn off.

    So while we know that coping with pain starts with serotonin levels in the brain [wait, now I’m doing it] and depression is the suspected low levels of serotonin in the brain – of course it will work to a degree but it won’t make you or I ‘pain free’
    shoot me for bad poetry. 🙂

  5. Doctor Fugedy at 7:24 am

    The Harvard study published in 2006 was the first to demonstrate the benefit of tDCS for fibromyalgia. 5 20-minute treatments over 5 days reduced fibromyalgia pain 50%. This persisted for 2 weeks when the study was ended. Subsequent studies demonstrate similar results. Marlow’s 2012 review recommended tDCS to be a first line treatment for fibromyalgia because it was more effective than pharmaceuticals and produced no adverse or side effects. Her only reservation was the estimated cost of $11,000+ per year.

    There are over 1,000 published tDCS studies, with an exponential increase over the last 5 years. The effects of tDCS on individual neurons, neurotransmitters, synapses, etc. have and continue to be meticulously researched. Much is already known. Do we know everything? No, but that can be said for most pharmaceuticals currently utilized. For pain, tDCS enhances descending inhibition, the reduction of which results in the chronic pain syndromes as demonstrated by fMRI’s and evocked potentials.

    tDCS is often compared to ECT because both use electricity. The amount of current used for ECT is 250 times greater than that of tDCS. ECT causes all of the neurons in the brain to fire resulting in a grand mal seizure, tDCS is barely perceptible and does not depolarize even 1 neuron. Much different mechanisms of action

    I have treated fibromyalgia patients with tDCS since 2007, trained and supervised patients to self-administer tDCS since 2008. tDCS is more effective than any available current treatment for fibromyalgia. tDCS reduces fibromyalgia pain more than any pharmaceutical or physical therapy, improves cognitive function and lessens fatigue. And unlike drugs, there are no adverse effects. No significant side effects have been reported for tDCS in the medical literature either. Even in the DIY community, where you could expect at least some cavalier use: no adverse effects.

    The tDCS Home-Use Program which I developped provides a convenient and cost-effective option for the treatment of the central pain syndromes which include fibromyalgia, migraine and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). tDCS is not a cure, but it compensates for the pathology, providing remission. tDCS also provides remission for the 40% of depressed patients who do not respond to the antidepressants and reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia and autism.

  6. Catherine Nichols Pogorzelski at 6:40 pm

    My sister in law was the recipient of 1960’s era “electroshock therapy,” because she was depressed that her then two year old with Cystic FIbrosis, had died, her husband signed for her to get treated…She is now in her 70’s, now has heart issues, (she has endured two open heart surgeries, Pacemaker implanted, a TAVR (Trans abdominal valve replacement-Pig valve inserted ) neurological issues, (her Pacemaker inserted AFTER the 2nd open heart surgery but before the TAVR; WHY did they NOT see her need then, the valve was like “gauze” according to the heart surgeon! This past year she had her gall bladder removed and carotid endartectomy and a dental procedure to remove a plum sized sack on her upper gums that the dental office told her on the phone, must be a piece of bone working it’s way through her gumline! It was filled with infection, it is AMAZING she is alive at all!
    Getting BACK to the point at hand, any time you allow a procedure whether intraoperatively or electronically to the body, changes are made, you are interrupting the natural flow of the body’s electrical systems. And although tryinbg to TREAT a condition, sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone! Esepcially when it is NTO KNOWN how soemthing is owrking or the consequences thereof!
    PS:I amNTO a medcial professional but have been through so mcuh myself, Lyme/AS/NTOS/FMD/HH/Sjogren’s/Lupus-POSSIBLE SS or Gadolinium Deposition Disease from the MRIs with Gadolinium contrast performed to find the neuro lyme symptoms!

  7. misti m at 4:40 pm

    Yolanda Foster is the perfect example of doing this does it work she has never said she has posted pics of herself in other countries havin this done electrodes on her head for Lyme

    Unsolved Mysteries had/has a story – years ago of a woman with MS running a bath during a lightening storm and the lightening went through water while she was in tub and shocked her and she claims it cured her MS
    so it may sound crazy but we get desperate to feel better living in pain everyday is a nightmare ,when I tried the tub during a storm nothing happened for me ….

    my hand and fingers were being crippled from MS ,Fibro and a few other things I was stung by a bee middle finger and for 4 years I could straighten out that finger that was clawed

    so to not believe that anything is possible would be close minded but to say a treatment will work for everyone is never true cause each person is made different

  8. Phil K at 4:33 pm

    My ex went through this type of therapy for psyche problems, I watched and I was horrified to see her arc her body as far as the belt would let her and she looked as if she was going to bite through the rubber teeth guard in her mouth while she appeared to be grimacing in pain.
    she first barely new where she was and within a few days she was up and around – but nothing changed that I could see except she seemed to get eventually worse and worse. Can’t say it was because of the shock treatments but I can say that I saw no good come from it either. Thing is, she developed a lot of problems later and finally went out of her mind and died in a state institution. (She had left me for a new man between the shocks and her death)
    No one could tell me exactly what all the side effect were, All they new is that it was better than her taking oral drugs especially anything she took for pain of which she suffered a lot of. My thought was that maybe being dependent on the oral chemicals had its side effect but at least we new what they were and they were reversible. She was able to read a few sheets of those side effects and if she so chose, signed waivers that she understood what they were and accepted them and did not hold the hospital responsible for those effects nor the pain she would suffer should they discontinue the addictive ones. Why discontinue something she felt worked best was anathema to me but that is what they offered her,
    That was in 1977. Now, my doctor says that even though I have scoliosis, glaucoma, Hep C and a couple of other painful problems that they can see by Xray and MRI’s, he would reduce me by 75%! I went from a guy who used to run 5k each morning and lift weights and use the machines at the workout place most nights to a man who appears to be looking for a lost contact lens. I cannot even stand up and my legs are so sore I could scream. Unfortunately, I am a disabled vet and at their mercy, of which they possess little. Before I didn’t even know I had developed scoliosis while being treated for the pain of glaucoma. My wife told me my back started looking strange. I blew it off since I was not hindered in any way – until they took me off the pain meds. That’s when I felt the pain when I tried to stand up straight.
    My point is this: I may be dependent on opiouds but at least I know where I stand and what the repercussions are. These studies they base the reductions everyone is now experience was done, in my opinion, by a few researchers with a result in mind that they searched for supporting evidence. They had no control groups but just went through old records and came up with what they wanted – to reduce everyone to a minimal, arbitrary level, based on nothing but what they think is acceptable to them. No matter how much pain you are in or how much you weigh, you sex etc etc, the things they used to use to figure out what is necessary to help alleviate your pain is not moot. I guess I should get prepared for the shock therapy or other Machiavellian experimental treatments they will be coming up with.
    Thing is, no matter what I may think, if I don’t do what they want, they can say I am refusing treatment and block me from getting ANY help for any reason. We vets feel this is a result of the new Affordable Care Act by the illustrious president Obama. I would sometimes want to wish he could truly feel my pain but he is exempt fro his own horrible “lack of care” act and he and his family will still get the great care that used to be available to everyone, even welfare recipients. It would have been far cheaper to just hand out medicare cards to the millions of illegals he wanted to insure, rather than to follow the law of the land which was to deport them immediately. If their family did not want to be separated by us horrible Americans, we should give them a plane ticket home as well so they can all be together and get in line with the rest of the people trying to become Americans. How long has it been that we hold up a bit on the new citizens (for instant voting) and start to assilmilate what we already have here like we did from 1962 to the near present? Bet you didn’t know we once had the sense to do that did you?
    I am not going to let them simply shock my brain until I am unable to respond to their questions of “how do you feel on a basis from one to ten?” just so that they can say, “seems fine to me now!”
    Don’t be too quick to do any treatment that they cannot explain how it works and the side effects to you unless you agree that there is just no alternative but their experimental ideas and you sign the waiver they put in front of you right before the “test.”

  9. Cathy Cooper at 11:24 am

    This another one of those Irresponsible Articles. Sure there is Research being done, but when taken out of context the underlying message is “there is a cure for Fibromyalgia”. These kinds of Articles are pulled from the millions of Published Scientific Articles, to further some agenda. Whether is is to make it appear that some scientist somewhere is working on Fibromyalagia, or to increase funding or promotion for a particular Institution. The impact of these kinds of Articles in the Corporate Media is to soften reaction to Electro stimulation for various conditions, Perhaps promote a business, or mislead the public on an issue. We have to analyze every piece of “News” anymore. Most of all it has to be put in perspective.

  10. Doc Anonymous at 7:40 am

    And one last comment: I love the lightning strike picture…..it seems to be from an old 1950’s era Frankenstein movie…..And this kind of life giving lightening strike was the state of the art science at the time the current theories of the way the nervous system works were being developed. The use of transcranial stimulation is also at least somewhat analogous scientifically to this lightening strike.

    Great post AND picture, Rosemarie Lee!!

  11. Doc Anonymous at 7:35 am

    By the way, the theory proposed by James Fulton at neuronresearch.net describes the elctrical power of the neuron as coming from the reaction of Glutamate to GABA, an unbalanced reaction that automatically produces an electron. According to this theory, the electron is delivered via quantum mechanical and liquid crystalline mechanisms to the interior of the nerve cell, thus providing the electrical power. The reaction is essentially acting as the “battery” of the nerve cell. And by the way there are no GABA receptors within the nerve synapses. THe GABA/Glutamate receptors are all located on the cell membrane adjacent to the synapse.

    His theory also proposes that the synapses and Nodes of Ranvier are actually biologic transistors, and there function can be significantly affected, but not in a precision manner, by externally applied electromagnetic fields if they are strong enough to penetrate to the synapse. It is a radical new theory in terms of neurobiology, but it is based on scientific advances made in the last half of the 20th century that were not even dreamed of when the chemical theory (Sodium and potassium pumps and chemical transmitters) were proposed.

    The thought occurs that at least the “fatigue” aspect of fibromyalgia is the result of dysfunction in the basic conversion of Glutamate to GABA and vice versa. What if fibromyalgia has a defect in the protein that facilitates the conversion of Glutamate to GABA? No proof yet, but it is food for thought!

  12. Doc Anonymous at 7:23 am

    I agree that it is frightening when these electronic and electrical techniques are being utilized when the people using them do not even know how they work. There is at least one theory out there that has the potential to explain how some of these things might work but it is whole new paradigm for explaining the electrical and electronic way the nervous system works.(For those who might be interested, see http://www.neuronresearch.net but be prepared for a complex scientific analysis of the neuron and its electronic nature)

    Having said that even these highly focused electronic stimulators/field generators will uniformly affect large volumes of neurons, whereas the normal functioning of the nervous system is a delicately tuned electronic device. The use of these transcranial treatments, as they exist today, are kind of analogous to trying to adjust your smart phone with a large and powerful hand held magnet. Unless you want to buy a new smart phone I do not recommend doing this experiment except in your head.