Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Way to Treat Dysautonomia


Reference #: 01400

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Way to Treat Dysautonomia


The autonomic nervous system controls bodily functions that are not consciously directed. These functions include breathing, digestion, and heart rate. People with dysautonomia (abnormalities in the regulation provided by the autonomic nervous system) usually exhibit symptoms such as changes in the resting heart rate, breathing problems, and constipation. These symptoms are quite common, affecting approximately 70 million people worldwide. Life expectancy is reduced in patients diagnosed with dysautonomia. The variability in heart rate offers a predictive factor for sudden death (about 25% of all death in cardiology). Our own studies have shown that dysautonomia is quite prevalent in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) where sudden death exceeds that of the normal population by a two to three-fold. Results from our group indicate that transcranial magnetic stimulation can normalize autonomic dysfunction. This proposal discloses the possible use of TMS in the treatment of dysautonomia.

Invention Description:

TMS uses changes in a magnetic field as a way of inducing current in a nearby conductor. When applied to the brain it stimulates anatomical elements of the cerebral cortex. We have found that low-frequency stimulation (generally regarded as inhibitory) over the prefrontal lobes (primarily the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) tends to normalize the functions of the autonomic nervous system.

Potential Applications:

Treatment of dysautonomia, preventive treatment for sudden death in patients with dysautonomia, treatment for behavioral findings and mood-related disturbances of dysautonomia (e.g., anxiety). There are approximately 70 million people who suffer from the condition worldwide. We are especially interested in targeting those with neurodevelopmental disabilities, e.g., autism spectrum disorders.

Advantages and Benefits:

The present treatment is symptomatic and does not address the core pathology of the condition. We would like to pursue further trials to see if repetitive TMS can provide a cure, the length of the number of sessions required, and the need (if any) for booster sessions.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Way to Treat Dysautonomia Utility United States 16/857,640   4/24/2020     Published
For Information, Contact:
Lacie Cottrill
Technology Associate
University of South Carolina
Manuel Casanova
Emily Casanova
Estate Sokhadze
autonomic nervous system
orthostatic hypotnesion
sudden death
transcranial magentic stimulation
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