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The Effect of Low Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Combined with Range of Motion Exercise on Paretic Hand Function in Female Patients after Stroke

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DOI: 10.4236/nm.2013.42012    3,832 Downloads   5,828 Views   Citations


Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has recently been demonstrated to improve motor function after stroke. However, no study has yet tested the synergetic effects of physical exercise on rTMS in clinical settings. We investigated the effect of a 6-session course of low frequency rTMS on contralesional primary motor cortex combined with range-of motion (ROM) exercise on paretic hand function in female stroke patients. This was a single-blind study of the effects of rTMS with or without ROM exercise in female hemiplegic patients after stroke. All patients underwent rTMS on the contralesional primary motor cortex for 15 minutes and ROM exercise on the paretic hand. The cortical excitability determined by the amplitude and latency of the motor evoked potential (MEP) was measured in both first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles. We also evaluated arm function using Box and Block, arm reach, 9-hole pegboard, power grip, and pinch grip force tests. The rTMS-induced MEP amplitude of the paretic side significantly increased whereas the non-paretic side showed a decrease through every session. However, the MEP latency significantly increased on the non-paretic hand at post-rTMS with exercise, but a tendency of decrement on paretic hand at same application. Motor function showed improvement in the 9-hole pegboard and arm reach tests at post-rTMS with exercise on the paretic side compared with the non-paretic side. A significant correlation was especially noted between motor function and MEP on the paretic side of stroke patients. Low frequency rTMS with ROM exercise improved hand function after stroke. This may, in part, result in additional rehabilitation in stroke patients.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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M. Kim, J. Kim, J. Lee, B. Hwang and J. Kim, "The Effect of Low Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Combined with Range of Motion Exercise on Paretic Hand Function in Female Patients after Stroke," Neuroscience and Medicine, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 77-83. doi: 10.4236/nm.2013.42012.


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