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Int J Rehabil Res. 2013 Dec;36(4):323-9. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e3283624907.

Bihemispheric repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with intensive occupational therapy for upper limb hemiparesis after stroke: a preliminary study.

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aDepartment of Rehabilitation, Shimizu Hospital, Kurayoshi, Tottori bDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


We investigated the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of the combination of bihemispheric repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and intensive occupational therapy (OT) for upper limb hemiparesis in poststroke patients. The study participants were eight poststroke patients with upper limb hemiparesis (age at intervention: 62.8±4.9 years, time after stroke: 84.3±87.2 months, mean±SD). During 15 days of hospitalization, each patient received 10 sessions of 40-min bihemispheric rTMS and 240-min intensive OT (120-min one-to-one training and 120-min self-training). One session of bihemispheric rTMS comprised the application of both 1 and 10 Hz rTMS (2000 stimuli for each hemisphere). The Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Wolf Motor Function Test, and the Modified Ashworth Scale were administered on the day of admission and at discharge. All patients completed the treatment without any adverse effects. Motor function of the affected upper limb improved significantly, on the basis of changes in Fugl-Meyer Assessment and Wolf Motor Function Test (P<0.05, each). A significant decrease in the Modified Ashworth Scale score was noted in the elbow, wrist, and finger flexors of the affected upper limb (P<0.05, each). The combination of bihemispheric rTMS and intensive OT was safe and feasible therapy for poststroke hemiparetic patients, and improved motor function of the hemiparetic upper limb in poststroke patients. The findings provide a new avenue for the treatment of patients with poststroke hemiparesis.

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