Bed-wetting, or nocturnal enuresis, causes distress among children and young adults, as well as for their parents or caregivers. Researchers at the Assiut University Hospital, Egypt, have revealed a method to reduce the frequency of night time bed-wetting and improve the quality of life for sufferers. They suggest that repetitive sacral root magnetic stimulation (rSMS) can successfully reduce the frequency of night time bed-wetting.
For the study, researchers analyzed 41 patients who were divided into two groups receiving either real magnetic stimulation or a sham stimulation using the same equipment and procedures. Every participant received 10 sessions, five per week. A magnetic stimulator was placed over their sacral vertebrae in the lower back and 15 Hz pulses were applied for 10 seconds on and 30 seconds off.
Lead investigator professor Eman M. Khedr said, "It seems likely that rSMS produced some of its effect in the present patients by a direct effect on bladder control. In the present study rSMS could have increased arousal or enhanced inhibition of neuronal re-uptake of noradrenaline and serotonin."
After the end of the treatment sessions, the average number of weekly nocturnal bed-wetting episodes fell from 5.7 to 0.3 per week for the real group compared to 6.5 to 1.8 per week after sham stimulation. Although the procedure resulted in improvement (placebo effect), the improvement in the real group continued one month later (one per week) whereas the sham group returned to baseline behavior (5.2 per week).
The findings were published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.