PEMFs - Unknown Territory, Let's Kee... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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PEMFs - Unknown Territory, Let's Keep Track


My training is in electrical engineering. A good part of my work involved dealing with electromagnetic fields ("EMFs"). Sad to say most man-made EMFs are harmful. For detailed review the literature I recommend a book entitled "Overpowered" available on Amazon here:

That said, extremely low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (ELF-PEMF), frequency around 7.5 Hz, have been used successfully to stimulate bone repair and angiogenesis. Per "Magnetic fields of 0.1–20 G are usually applied to produce electrical fields, ranging from 1 mV/cm to 100 mV/cm in the bone". So this works for bone repair (and maintenance in zero gravity conditions).

There are a few studies that claim to show a benefit of pulsed electromagnetic fields ("PEMFs") in Parkinson's, but their results range from invalid to mediocre. That said, if you were to have any hope of attaining the claimed improvements you would have to reproduce the treatment used in the study. This means using the same placement and design of the coil(s), and the same frequency, amplitude and shape of the electrical waveform applied. Otherwise you are a researcher exploring unknown territory. If you choose to do this let us know what you did - the equipment, the settings, the coil placement - and the result.

The one study that possibly showed improvement had a means of coil placement beyond the resources of an individual Parkinson's patient. They used a .2 Hz pulse rate - one pulse every 5 seconds, which is not available on most consumer equipment.

Now to the studies:

A recent study purports to show a benefit from a particular kind of PEMF, but their claim is invalid. From the abstract:

"The active group improved in the two part-score items, Activity-of-daily- living and Mobility ( p < 0.021; p < 0.027), whereas the placebo group remained unchanged. PDQ-39 total scores improved, from baseline to endpoint in both groups ( p < 0.001) but did not differ in total score improvements ( p < 0.312) "

What makes this claim invalid is the overall score of the test group was no different from the control group. There will be some random variation in test results. What these investigators did was to cherry pick the portions of the test where there treatment showed improvement and ignored the portions of the test that showed the opposite.

In other words the improvement of the test group in some areas was compensated for by a decline in other areas. The key point is the overall test scores were the same for both groups and the variations were almost certainly random.

The full study paper revealed that while the test group showed more improvement of mobility the placebo group improved more on cognition.

An earlier study claimed to show a benefit from PEMF but they treated the subjects first with a sham PEMF and then with the real thing. They got a big improvement with the sham treatment and then a bit more improvement with the real thing. The overall improvement including both treatments was statistically significant, but had they analyzed only the improvement generated by the real treatment subsequent to applying the sham treatment the result would not have been stat sig. That study can be found here:

A preliminary study can be found here:

The manner of placing the stimulation coil was set forth as follows:

"The optimal stimulation site was determined by moving the coil around the left side of the scalp Cz until the maximum MEP response was achieved. The threshold was defined as the minimum stimulation intensity, required to elicit reproducible MEPs of at least 50 μV during at least four out of eight stimulations at the optimal stimulation site at rest."

24 Replies

Not to worry as I always wear my aluminum foil skullcap. Especially since the UFO incident called the Phoenix Lights.😇

park_bear in reply to RoyProp

: - )

Thanks for this. Very useful.

I have already ordered one such device and it should be here any day now. Therefore you must be not taking something into consideration or you have been misinformed or could your analysis be based on incorrect data. I never purchase these fools gadgets but I had a good feeling about this one, and of course as you know a good feeling about something off sets a lot of negative data. I of course always wear my tin-foil hat when I am on this site.

After receipt of the devise and many hours of careful analysis I will report on my findings. Did you read the post by Ianfrizell on Earth Grounding ? After you have read that it all makes perfect sense , OK not perfect , but it was plausible, possible.

MMMMMM I screwed up again huh ? Dont tell my wife ,she is starting to worry about me too much as it is. When I think about the amount of time I spent around those giant electric motors in P&P mills and worked and slept beside high voltage power lines and that did not damage my brain then............. Hey wait a minute .......... to be continued.

park_bear in reply to GymBag

LOL ... let us know how you fare. It is possible that this sort of thing could work and the recent post from the fellow who got over his back pain is worth consideration. It's just that this is breaking new ground without guidance from medical studies.

Did I waste $180.00 on the MiraMate my husband started using since last Sunday? It is doing more harm than good? I am not an electrical engineer and based on results reported by friends on this site, it sounded very optimistic and helpful so I wanted to give it a try. Please advise, if it's harmful I will ask my husband to stop using it.

park_bear in reply to Despe

I don't know. We have one seemingly convincing anecdotal report. Monitor his response. If he improves, good. If he starts to get worse, discontinue. Either way let us know.

Despe in reply to park_bear

I will surely give you an update. I agree with Dap1948.

bassofspades in reply to Despe

yes please post regular updates! Its supposed to help with PD as I have read. saving up for one too

Ajssister in reply to Despe

My friend n I were just discussing this yesterday. She SWEARS by hers. So I’ve only heard positive things about this. Good luck.

When I first read about the claims being made in support of PEMFs, I was pretty excited, but when I dug a bit deeper I found that I couldn't use one anyway. I have a pacemaker which is not a good companion to a PEMF, so that is that.

So NASA is causing harm treating the astronauts with PEMF? I don't think so. PEMFs are low frequency mimicking the earths natural electromagnetic field. They've been used for years with many measurable health benefits. I'm very happy using mine and am feeling benefits as reported in other recent posts on PEMF.

park_bear in reply to Dap1948

Thanks for your valid criticism. I have updated my post accordingly.

That said, the final pair of studies I referenced showed a big placebo response. With the coils placed on your wrist, as you have indicated, I am skeptical of any physical effect on the neurons in your brain.

Dap1948 in reply to park_bear

If it gives me more energy, improves sleep, eases anxiety and depression, increases bone density, improves circulation... I'll have that for starters.

park_bear in reply to Dap1948

That's good, Dap! Can't knock that kind of result.

GymBag in reply to park_bear

"Placebo response"

that is good enough , I will take one of those too.

If you know it is a Placebo response, does it still work as a placebo response ?

park_bear in reply to GymBag

Yea, improvement is still improvement. Good question.

Is the Zeez device (that helps with sleep) emit harmful EMF’s?

park_bear in reply to nourilo

Best to gauge the impact by its effect on your body, so if it is helping you it is probably ok.

I've ordered one for my dad, the Miramate. Will definitely update here if it works or not, but it's mostly for his back. Will try for jaw and hand tremour, no chance of a placebo effect there :(

park_bear in reply to Dee1980

Good point!

bassofspades in reply to Dee1980

thank you for keeping us updated in the future

Looking forward to updates. Improved sleep would be wonderful!

I agree with Park Bear about being cautious with PEMF. Any PEMF benefits come under the heading of bio-effects that the current (contested by some) safety standards say should not happen. The electromagnetic field patterns from home use of these devices would be very difficult to predict and so laboratory tests would be hard to reproduce. I don't see how any company could guarantee results. But they can say they they meet safety standards - except those standards say nothing should happen :-). So it is contested science. The medical research that just amounts to playing with exposure levels and looking for statistical correlations with (noisy) symptomatic improvement data just reminds me of the pressure to publish!

The key question is - any additional risk.

We all walk round in an unquantifiable electromagnetic soup anyway so most likely it will not be appreciable. On the other hand if PEMF devices do have an effect for some then it follows that the effect could be abused and hence some additional risk exists. I don't want to sound negative about something that may work. I know we all take risks with our treatment and I would dearly love to reduce my tremor!

(I am now retired but have published on electromagnetic field computations - no claim to be an expert on this type of bio-effect but I will catch up!)

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