[ARTICLE] Effect of combined low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and virtual reality training on upper limb function in subacute stroke: a double-blind randomized controlled trail

Summary

The effect of combined low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (LF rTMS) and virtual reality (VR) training in patients after stroke was assessed. In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, 112 patients with hemiplegia after stroke were randomly divided into two groups: experimental and control. In experimental group, the patients received LF rTMS and VR training treatment, and those in control group received sham rTMS and VR training treatment. Participants in both groups received therapy of 6 days per week for 4 weeks. The primary endpoint including the upper limb motor function test of Fugl-meyer assessment (U-FMA) and wolf motor function test (WMFT), and the secondary endpoint including modified Barthel index (MBI) and 36-item Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36) were assessed before and 4 weeks after treatment. Totally, 108 subjects completed the study (55 in experimental group and 53 in control group respectively). After 4-week treatment, the U-FMA scores [mean difference of 13.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.6 to 22.7, P<0.01], WMFT scores (mean difference of 2.9, 95% CI 2.7 to 12.3, P<0.01), and MBI scores (mean difference 16.1, 95% CI 3.8 to 9.4, P<0.05) were significantly increased in the experimental group as compared with the control group. The results suggested the combined use of LF rTMS with VR training could effectively improve the upper limb function, the living activity, and the quality of life in patients with hemiplegia following subacute stroke, which may provide a better rehabilitation treatment for subacute stroke.

via Effect of combined low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and virtual reality training on upper limb function in subacute stroke: a double-blind randomized controlled trail – Springer.

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