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Healing with Electricity

There have been a number of papers discussing the use of pused freqency devices for healing purposes. Here are a few examples.

ElectroTrichoGenesis: Further Evidence of Efficacy and Safety on Extended Use
W. Stuart Maddin, M.D., F.R.C.P., Ingrid Amara, Dr.P.H., and William A. Sollecito, Dr.P.H. - International Journal of Dermatology, Vol. 31, No. 12, December 1992

These data represent a subset of data from the original 36-week study conducted by Maddin et al., which was in itself a preliminary study of a pulsed electrical stimulation device in male subjects alone. The extension phase of this study, which is summarized here, was undertaken to gather data on longer-term efficacy and safety and to study clinical effects in control subjects who were then switched to active treatment. Thirteen subjects had active treatment for 70 weeks, and 14 subjects were included in the crossover group, which had sham treatment for 36 weeks followed by active treatment for 30 additional weeks. On average, terminal hair counts increased from 82 to 276 in the active treatment group. Among those in the crossover group, a mild increase, from 124 to 160, was observed during the sham treatment period and a more notable increase, from 160 to 249, occurred during the subsequent active treatment period. The results presented here provide evidence of the efficacy and safety of this device during extended use; however, the generalizability of these findings is limited by the small subset of subjects for whom complete data are available. Int J Dermatol 1992; 31:878-880  The application of pulsed electrical stimulation has excited considerable research interest in recent years for the treatment of a variety of clinical indications. This paper on electrotrichogenesis aims to provide longer term evidence of efficacy and safety in a novel approach to the management of a common clinical entity notably refractory to treatment.

Electrical Stimulation for Wound Healing: A Review of Evidence From In Vitro Studies, Animal Experiments, and Clinical Trials
Luther C. Kloth, PT,MS, CWS, FAPTA - Department of Physical Therapy, Marquette University, Milwaukee,WI

This article reviews theories linked to endogenous bioelectric currents and the role theymay play in wound repair with further appraisal of in vitro and in vivo research related to the effects of clinically applicable electrical currents on protein synthesis, cell migration, and antibacterial outcomes. In addition, studies on the effects of electrical stimulation (ES) on skin grafts, donor sites, and musculocutaneous flaps in animals are evaluated, aswell as assessments of numerous clinical reports that examined the effects of ES on angiogenesis, perfusion, PtcO2, and epithelialization. Finally, a plethora of clinical trials related to the responses of chronic lower extremitywounds to ES therapy are reviewed,with emphasis on wounds caused by venous insufficiency, diabetic neuropathy,
and ischemia in patients with and without diabetesmellitus. A glossary that addresses ES terminology is also included.

Key words: electrical stimulation, wound healing, wound injury current, antibacterial effects, lower extremity wounds, electrical stimulation terminology

The Biological Effects of a Pulsed Electrostatic Field with Specific Reference to Hair - ElectroTrichoGenesis
W. Stuart Maddin, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), Peter W. Bell, B.Sc. (Pharm.), M.B.A., and John H.M. James, M.D., C.C.F.P.C. - Division of Dermatology, University of British Columbia School of Medicine, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

This comparative, controlled study demonstrates the positive biological effect on hair regrowth of a pulsed electrical field administered according to a regularized treatment schedule over 36 weeks. Mean hair count comparisons within the groups significantly favor the treatment group, which exhibited a 66.1% hair count increase over baseline. The control group increase over baseline was 25.6%. It is notable also that 29 of the 30 treatment subjects (96.7%) exhibited regrowth or no further hair loss. The process is without side effects and untoward reactions. The rationale of this phenomenon is unclear but is considered to be due to an eletrophysiologic effect on the quiescent hair follicle, similar to that documented with respect to bone fracture and soft tissue repair enhancement. The electrical pulse may cause increased cell mitosis through calcium influx, involving both the hair follicle sheath and dermal papilla cells. For more than 30 years the relationship between electrical effects and the growth of mammalian tissue has been a subject of interest and conjecture. Starting with studies of electrical signals arising from nonexcitable tissues, exogenous signals have been applied to cellular and animal models to determine biologic response, and electrical stimulation has been used clinically to enhance hard and soft tissue repair.1 This study presents data on a hair regrowth method utilizing the proximal application to the scalp of a pulsed electrical field. Previously, Gunn and Lee2 reported an experiment involving four men with early hair loss being treated with a commercially available transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation (TENS) device, resulting in a reduction of shedding, an improvement in hair texture, and a gradual resumption in growth rate. Also, in two open, uncontrolled trials involving 25 and 40 subjects, respectively, Bell3 reported that 84% of the former group and 70% of the latter showed regrowth after 60 days, utilizing the electrical modality being tested in this study. Disciplines within the medical profession are familiar with the use of electrical modalities in a variety of circumstances, but the suggestion of electricity stimulating hair growth or regrowth has not been properly investigated. The use of certain frequency and current values in a specified treatment regimen may meet the need for an effective, new form of treatment of a troublesome cosmetic condition, androgenic alopecia, to which increased attention has been paid in recent years. The terminology "electrotrichogenesis" (ETG) aptly and conventionally describes the phenomenon.

Bioelectromagnetics Applications in Medicine
Beverly Rubik, Ph.D., Robert O. Becker, M.D., Robert G. Flower, M.S., Carlton F. Hazlewood, Ph.D., Abraham R. Liboff, Ph.D., Jan Walleczek, Ph.D.

Bioelectromagnetics (BEM) is the emerging science that studies how living organisms interact with electromagnetic (EM) fields. Electrical phenomena are found in all living organisms. Moreover, electrical currents exist in the body that are capable of producing magnetic fields that extend outside the body. Consequently, they can be influenced by external magnetic and EM fields as well. Changes in the body's natural fields may produce physical and behavioral changes. To understand how these field effects may occur, it is first useful to discuss some basic phenomena associated with EM fields.

In its simplest form, a magnetic field is a field of magnetic force extending out from a permanent magnet.fields are produced by moving electrical currents. For example, when an electrical current flows in a, the movement of the electrons through the wire produces a magnetic field in the space around the wire (fig.1). If the current is a direct current (DC), it flows in one direction and the magnetic field is steady. If thecurrent in the wire is pulsing, or fluctuating--such as in alternating current (AC), which means theflow is switching directions--the magnetic field also fluctuates. The strength of the magnetic fieldon the amount of current flowing in the wire; the more current, the stronger the magnetic field. An EMcontains both an electrical field and a magnetic field. In the case of a fluctuating magnetic or EM field, theis characterized by its rate, or frequency, of fluctuation (e.g., one fluctuation per second is equal to 1 hertz [Hz], the unit of frequency).

Mechanisms and Therapeutic Applications of Time-Varying and Static Magnetic Fields
Arthur A. Pilla, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, Department of Orthopedics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York

It is now commonplace to learn of the successful use of weak non-thermal electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the quest to heal, or relieve the symptoms of, a variety of debilitating ailments. Thiswill attempt to give the reader an introduction and assessment of EMF modalities whichdemonstrated therapeutic benefit for bone and wound repair and chronic and acute pain relief.review will concentrate on the use of exogenous time-varying and static magnetic fields.is, however, a large body of research, including many clinical studies, describing theapplication of electrical signals via electrodes in electrochemical contact with the skinpain relief and to enhance wound repair.

Consideration of these modalities is beyond the scopethis review. The reader is referred to several excellent reviews of such electrical stimulation(1-5). Electroporation (6-8,372), which applies high amplitude (>100V/cm), short(?1 msec), voltage pulses with electrodes in contact with the target, allows controlledopening of the cell and other membranes, and has shown promise for gene transvection (9) and treatment of certain cancers (10), is also beyond the scope of this review. Finally RF (>100) and microwave signals are also beyond the scope of this review since these modalities areutilized to enhance bone or wound repair, but rather for tissue heating, thermal ablation or astools. Non-thermal bioeffects at these frequencies have been reported, but there are manyfindings. Excellent reviews are available for the reader interested in more detail.

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Low frequency and low intensity pulsed electromagnetic field exerts its antiinflammatory effect through restoration of plasma membrane calcium ATPase activity.
Selvam R, Ganesan K, Narayana Raju KV, Gangadharan AC, Manohar BM, Puvanakrishnan R. - Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Madras Veterinary College, Vepery, Chennai, India.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting 1% of the population worldwide. Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) has a number of well-documented physiological effects on cells and tissues including antiinflammatory effect. This study aims to explore the antiinflammatory effect of PEMF and its possible mechanism of action in amelioration of adjuvant induced arthritis (AIA). Arthritis was induced by a single intradermal injection of heat killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis at a concentration of 500 microg in 0.1 ml of paraffin oil into the right hind paw of rats. The arthritic animals showed a biphasic response regarding changes in the paw edema volume. During the chronic phase of the disease, arthritic animals showed an elevated level of lipid peroxides and depletion of antioxidant enzymes with significant radiological and histological changes. Besides, plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPase (PMCA) activity was inhibited while intracellular Ca(2+) level as well as prostaglandin E(2) levels was noticed to be elevated in blood lymphocytes of arthritic rats. Exposure of arthritic rats to PEMF at 5 Hzx4 microT x 90 min, produced significant antiexudative effect resulting in the restoration of the altered parameters. The antiinflammatory effect could be partially mediated through the stabilizing action of PEMF on membranes as reflected by the restoration of PMCA and intracellular Ca(2+) levels in blood lymphocytes subsequently inhibiting PGE(2) biosynthesis. The results of this study indicated that PEMF could be developed as a potential therapy for RA in human beings.

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