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Eur J Neurol. 2016 Nov;23(11):1666-1672. doi: 10.1111/ene.13105. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on motor recovery and motor cortex excitability in patients with stroke: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Nanjing, China.
  • 2Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, China.
  • 3Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, China. yangfang021011@163.com.
  • 4Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Nanjing, China. xfliu2@vip.163.com.
  • 5Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, China. xfliu2@vip.163.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) changes the excitability of the motor cortex and thereby has the potential to enhance motor recovery after stroke. This randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind study was to compare the effects of high-frequency versus low-frequency rTMS on motor recovery during the early phase of stroke and to identify the neurophysiological correlates of motor improvements.

METHODS:

A total of 69 first-ever ischemic stroke patients with motor deficits were randomly allocated to receive five daily sessions of 3-Hz ipsilesional rTMS, 1-Hz contralesional rTMS or sham rTMS in addition to standard physical therapy. Outcome measures included motor deficits, neurological scores and cortical excitability, which were assessed at baseline, after the intervention and at 3-month follow-up.

RESULTS:

The rTMS groups manifested greater motor improvements than the control group, which were sustained for at least 3 months after the end of the treatment sessions. 1-Hz rTMS over the unaffected hemisphere produced more profound effects than 3-Hz rTMS in facilitating upper limb motor performance. There was a significant correlation between motor function improvement and motor cortex excitability change in the affected hemisphere.

CONCLUSIONS:

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation is a beneficial neurorehabilitative strategy for enhancing motor recovery in the acute and subacute phase after stroke.

KEYWORDS:

cortical excitability; interhemispheric inhibition; motor cortex; motor dysfunction; neurorehabilitative; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; stroke

PMID:
27425785
DOI:
10.1111/ene.13105
[PubMed - in process]
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