Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr

Keywords

Multiple Sclerosis -- rehabilitation

Abstract

Electromagnetic treatment is one of the highest utilized nontraditional therapeutic methods in the medical field. Scientific research has proposed that people experience improvement in the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) from such treatment. This independent study is a literature review that probes into the proclaimed benefits that a low frequency electromagnetic field posses on the biological system. In order to support or negate these claims, literature and studies explaining how and why this concept is feasible is researched and presented. The review focuses on the effects of the low frequency external electromagnetic field at the cellular level and on central nervous system. The pineal gland is of utmost concern as research has indicated it as a major player in the interaction of the biological system with an external electromagnetic field.

Scientific support validates physiological versus psychological effects that the application of an external electromagnetic field implies. The actual mechanisms of action with the biological system remain in hypothetical terms, therefore further studies are needed and continue on this topic. Controversy is high among some of the claimed effects of an electromagnetic field. Scientific research is certainly present supporting electromagnetic therapy as a treatment option for the symptoms of MS. However, this is not to say that magnetic therapy is beneficial for all diagnosis. In order for the person to benefit from magnetic therapy the condition must be affected by alterations in the functioning of the cell, cell membrane, transport and signaling system, ionic changes, hormonal changes, alterations in neurotransmitter substance, and/or possibly immunologic function.

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