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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2011 Jan;25(1):48-60. doi: 10.1177/1545968310376757. Epub 2010 Sep 12.

Long-term effects on cortical excitability and motor recovery induced by repeated muscle vibration in chronic stroke patients.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Clinical and Behavioral Neurology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy. b.marconi@hsantalucia.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Muscle vibration modifies corticomotor excitability in healthy subjects and reduces muscle tonus in stroke patients.

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined whether repeated muscle vibration (rMV) applied over the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and biceps brachii (BB) can induce long-lasting changes, using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), in patients with chronic stroke.

METHODS:

Thirty hemiparetic patients who offered at least minimal wrist and elbow isometric voluntary contractions were randomly assigned to either an experimental group, which received rMV in addition to physiotherapy (rMV + PT), or a control group that underwent PT alone. The following parameters of the FCR, BB, and extensor digitorum communis (EDC) were measured through TMS before, and 1 hour, 1 week, and 2 weeks after the end of intervention: resting motor threshold (RMT), map area, map volume, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), and intracortical facilitation (ICF). Muscle tonus and motor function were assessed on the same day as TMS.

RESULTS:

Pre-post analysis revealed a reduction in RMT and an increase in motor map areas occurred in the vibrated muscles only in the rMV + PT group, with an increase in map volumes of all muscles. Moreover, SICI increased in the flexors and decreased in the extensor. These neurophysiological changes lasted for at least 2 weeks after the end of rMV + PT and paralleled the reduction in spasticity and increase in motor function. A significant correlation was found between the degree of spasticity and the amount of intracortical inhibition.

CONCLUSION:

rMV with PT may be used as a nonpharmacological intervention in the neurorehabilitation of mild to moderate hemiparesis.

PMID:
20834043
DOI:
10.1177/1545968310376757
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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