Objectives To assess the efficacy of high-frequency (20Hz) brain stimulation on lower limb motor function in subjects with chronic (>6mo) subcortical stroke. Design Double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Setting University hospital. Participants Right-handed subjects (N=10) affected by a first-ever subcortical stroke in the territory of the middle cerebral artery were included in this study. Interventions Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was delivered with the H-coil, specifically designed to target deeper and larger brains regions. Each subject received both real and sham rTMS in a random sequence. The 2 rTMS cycles (real or sham) were composed of 11 sessions each, administered over 3 weeks and separated by a 4-week washout period. Main Outcome Measures Lower limb functions were assessed by the lower limb Fugl-Meyer scale, the 10-m walk test, and the 6-minute walk test before and 1 day after the end of each treatment period, as well as at a 4-week follow-up. Results Real rTMS treatment was associated with a significant improvement in lower limb motor function. This effect persisted over time (follow-up) and was significantly greater than that observed with sham stimulation. A significant increase in walking speed was also found after real rTMS, but this effect did not reach statistical significance in comparison with the sham stimulation. Conclusions These data demonstrated that 3 weeks of high-frequency deep rTMS could induce long-term improvements in lower limb functions in the chronic poststroke period, lasting at least 1 month after the end of the treatment.
- Lower limb
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation, repetitive
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation