Author(s): Takeuchi N, Tada T, Toshima M, Chuma T, Matsuo Y,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Recent reports demonstrated that low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the unaffected hemisphere improved the affected hand function in chronic stroke patients. We investigated whether 1 Hz rTMS improved the motor learning of the affected hand in patients after stroke. DESIGN: A double-blind study. PATIENTS: Twenty patients with chronic subcortical stroke. METHODS: The patients were randomly assigned to receive either a sub-threshold rTMS over the unaffected hemisphere (1 Hz, 25 minutes) or sham stimulation, and all patients performed a pinching task after stimulation. We evaluated the motor function of the affected hand and the excitatory and inhibitory function of the affected motor cortex by transcranial magnetic stimulation. RESULTS: Compared with sham stimulation, rTMS induced an increase in the excitability of the affected motor cortex(p < 0.001) and an improvement in acceleration of the affected hand (p = 0.006). Moreover, the effect of motor training on pinch force was enhanced by rTMS (p < 0.001). These improvement in the motor function lasted for one week after rTMS and motor training (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: rTMS improved the motor learning of the affected hand in patients after stroke; thus, it can apply as anew rehabilitation strategy for patients after stroke.
This article was published in J Rehabil Med
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation