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Brain stimulation can help partially paralyzed stroke patients regain use of their muscles
Date:9/13/2010

activity of the unaffected hemisphere can reduce muscle weakness and improve overall motor function."

The 60 patients who took part in the study had similar baseline characteristics, apart from a lower incident of ischaemic heart disease in the 5-Hz rTMS group, which was unlikely to have had an effect on recovery.

Patients averaged just under 54 years of age and just over two-thirds were male.

The patients were randomly assigned to one of the three groups and magnetic stimulation was administered in three different ways:

  • Patients in group one received a daily 5-Hz session for 10 days over the part of the brain affected by the stroke. This equated to 750 pulses per session and 7,500 pulses over the course of the treatment.

  • Patients in group two received a daily 1-Hz session for 10 days over the part of the brain not affected by the stroke. This equated to 150 pulses per session and 1,500 pulses over the course of the treatment.

  • The "treatment" in the placebo group was applied in the same way as group two, but the stimulator was angled at 90 degrees to render it ineffective.

Patients were clinically assessed at baseline and at two, four, eight and 12 weeks using a range of tools to determine motor function and cognitive status.

Further details of the scores and the treatment sessions are outlined in detail in the full paper.

"Our study shows that using rTMS can help patients who have suffered an ischaemic stroke and are experiencing partial paralysis on one side of their body to regain motor function" says Professor Etribi. "We also found that the time interval from stroke to treatment did not have an effect on how well the patient recovered.

"It appears that inhibitory and stimulatory rTMS may well prove useful tools in long-term programmes to rehabilitate stroke patients."


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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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