Background: Little is known about the effects of low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on dysmnesia and the impact of brain nucleotide neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). This study investigated the impact of low-frequency rTMS on post-stroke dysmnesia and the impact of BDNF Val66Met SNP.
Material and methods: Forty patients with post-stroke dysmnesia were prospectively randomized into the rTMS and sham groups. BDNF Val66Met SNP was determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism. Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Loewenstein Occupational Therapy of Cognitive Assessment (LOTCA), and Rivermead Behavior Memory Test (RBMT) scores, as well as plasma BDNF concentrations, were measured at baseline and at 3 days and 2 months post-treatment.
Results: MoCA, LOTCA, and RBMT scores were higher after rTMS. Three days after treatment, BDNF decreased in the rTMS group but it increased in the sham group (P<0.05). Two months after treatment, RMBT scores in the rTMS group were higher than in the sham group, but not MoCA and LOTCA scores.
Conclusions: Low-frequency rTMS may improve after-stoke memory through various pathways, which may involve polymorphisms and several neural genes, but not through an increase in BDNF levels.