Feasibility of using cranial electrotherapy stimulation for pain in persons with parkinson's disease

Diana H. Rintala, Gabriel Tan, Pamela Willson, Mon S. Bryant, Eugene C. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives. To assess the feasibility of treating musculoskeletal pain in the lower back and/or lower extremities in persons with Parkinson's disease (PD) with cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). Design. Randomized, controlled, double-blind trial. Setting. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Community. Participants. Nineteen persons with PD and pain in the lower back and/or lower extremities. Thirteen provided daily pain rating data. Intervention. Of the thirteen participants who provided daily pain data, 6 were randomly provided with active CES devices and 7 with sham devices to use at home 40 minutes per day for six weeks. They recorded their pain ratings on a 0-to-10 scale immediately before and after each session. Main Outcome Measure. Average daily change in pain intensity. Results. Persons receiving active CES had, on average, a 1.14-point decrease in pain compared with a 0.23-point decrease for those receiving sham CES (Wilcoxon Z=-2.20, P=.028). Conclusion. Use of CES at home by persons with PD is feasible and may be somewhat helpful in decreasing pain. A larger study is needed to determine the characteristics of persons who may experience meaningful pain reduction with CES. Guidelines for future studies are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number569154
JournalParkinson's Disease
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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