K. Hosomi, S. Morris, Tomosaburo Sakamoto
Jul 1, 2016
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases : the official journal of National Stroke Association
BACKGROUND We conducted a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study to assess the efficacy in motor recovery and safety of daily repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in subacute stroke patients. METHODS Forty-one patients were randomly assigned to a real or sham stimulation group. Each patient underwent regular rehabilitation accompanied by a series of 10 daily 5-Hz rTMS of the ipsilesional primary motor cortex (M1) or sham stimulation. The primary outcome was motor recovery evaluated by the Brunnstrom stages (BS). The secondary outcomes were improvement in the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA), grip power, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), Functional Independence Measure (FIM), a quantitative measurement of finger tapping movement, and the incidence of adverse events. RESULTS Thirty-nine patients completed the study and were included in the analyses. The real rTMS group demonstrated additional improvement in the BS hand score at the last follow-up compared to the sham. The grip power, the NIHSS motor score, and the number of finger taps in the affected hand improved in the real stimulation group but not in the sham group. The BS upper limb scores, the FMA distal upper limb score, the NIHSS total score, and the FIM motor score showed improvement from baseline at the earlier time points after the real rTMS. There were no additional improvements in the other scores after the real rTMS compared to the sham. No serious adverse events were observed. CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest that dailyhigh-frequency rTMS of the ipsilesional M1 is tolerable and modestly facilitates motor recovery in the paralytic hand of subacute stroke patients.