We evaluated the combined use of transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) with the Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP) in sub-acute ischemic stroke patients suffering from arm impairment. Eighteen ischemic stroke patients with upper limb disability were randomly assigned to either the GRASP + tRNS or GRASP + Sham stimulation group. Fugl-Meyer Assessment-Upper extremity (FMA-UE) was performed to evaluate upper limb impairment before treatment (T0), after the last stimulation (T1) and after 30 days (T2). At T1 and T2, beneficial effects in the tRNS group correlated with better FMA-UE score than sham stimulation group (p < 0.001) and these results did not correlate to stroke severity, because no associations were observed between National Institute of Health Stroke Scale and FMA UE T1 and T2. This study displayed a good feasibility and was the first to evaluate the use of tRNS in association with Grasp in sub-acute stroke survivors having arm impairment to improve arm motor recovery.
Keywords: Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (Grasp); Stroke rehabilitation; Transcranial random noise stimulation combined (tRNS).