Low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve motor function and grip force of upper limbs of patients with hemiplegia

Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Aug;16(8):e13579. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.13579. Epub 2014 Aug 5.


Background: Stroke is the most common and debilitating neurological disorder among adults, and is a sudden onset of neurological signs caused by brain blood vessels impairments.

Objectives: Some new therapeutic methods focus on the use of magnetic stimulation to produce therapeutic effects by inducing the currents. The aim of this study is to determine the effects of rTMS plus routine rehabilitation on hand grip and wrist motor functions in patients with hemiplegia, and compare with pure routine rehabilitation programs.

Patients and methods: In this study, 12 patients with hemiplegia were randomly divided in two groups. Control group, received the rehabilitation program with placebo magnetic stimulation, and the experimental group, received magnetic stimulation with routine rehabilitation program for 10 sessions for three times per week. Pre and post evaluations of treatment performed using Barthel and Fugl-Meyer indices and dynamometers.

Results: In the control group, Barthel and Fugl-Meyer indices showed significant improvement (P = 0.01, P = 0.00), while in the experimental group, significant improvement in Barthel and Fugl-Meyer indices and dynamometers has been observed (P = 0.01, P = 0.00, P = 0.007).

Conclusions: rTMS can improve hand muscle force and functions of patients with chronic hemiplegia, while conventional treatment is not effective.

Keywords: Motor Skill; Rehabilitation; Stroke; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.