Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and dementia

It is thought that electrical stimulation of nerves via the skin may cause chemical changes in the brain. Learn more about this procedure as an alternative treatment for dementia.

What is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which is commonly known as TENS, involves applying a mild electrical current through electrodes stuck to the skin.

Is it a painful procedure?

The treatment can produce a prickling sensation but is not painful. It is often used for pain control, for example during labour.

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What does the evidence say about TENS and dementia?

A number of studies have suggested that the use of TENS machines may produce short-lived improvement in some of the cognitive aspects of dementia, but the quality of these studies is poor and more evidence is needed.

Contact the British Pain Society

For details of pain professionals who use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), contact this representative body for all professionals involved in the management and understanding of pain in the UK.

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