UCL News


Magnets: How effective is the latest NHS treatment?

7 March 2006

People may scoff at the idea that the lumps of metal used for sticking notes on to the fridge have healing properties, but, presumably, those who control the NHS purse know what they are paying for.

And anyone who doubts that magnets have physical effects on the body need only try an experiment conducted at the UCL Institute of Neurology. Ask Professor John Rothwell to wave a magnetic wand over the left side of your head, and watch your right arm jump involuntarily. The excitation of the neuronal pathways that this demonstrates suggests, according to Professor Rothwell, that the technique might be useful in the rehabilitation of stroke victims. A trial of transmagnetic stimulation of the brain in stroke sufferers is soon to begin.

Jeremy Laurance, 'The Independent', 7 March 2006