[Abstract] Effects of Transcranial direct current stimulation with sensory modulation on stroke motor rehabilitation: A randomized controlled trial  

 

Abstract

Objective

To test whether a multi-strategy intervention enhanced recovery immediately and longitudinally in patients with severe to moderate upper extremity (UE) paresis.

Design

Double-blind randomized controlled trial with placebo control.

Setting

An outpatient department of a local medical center.

Participants

People (n = 25) with chronic stroke were randomly assigned to 2 groups. Participants in the transcranial direct current stimulation with sensory modulation (tDCS-SM) and in the control group were 55.3±11.5 (n=14) and 56.9±13.5 (n=11) years old, respectively.

Interventions

8-week intervention. The tDCS-SM group received bilateral tDCS, bilateral cutaneous anesthesia, and high repetitions of passive movements on the paretic hand. The control group received the same passive movements but with sham tDCS and sham anesthesia. During the experiment, all participants continued their regular rehabilitation.

Main outcome measures

Voluntary UE movement, spasticity, UE function, and basic activities of daily living. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, at post-intervention, and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups.

Results

No significant differences were found between groups. However, there was a trend that the voluntary UE movement improved more in the tDCS-SM group than in the control group, with a moderate immediate effect (partial η2, ηp2 = 0.14, p = 0.07) and moderate long-term effects (ηp2 =0.17, p = 0.05 and ηp2 = 0.12, p = 0.10). Compared with the control group, the tDCS-SM group had a trend of a small immediate effect (ηp2 = 0.02 – 0.04) on reducing spasticity but no long-term effect. A trend of small immediate and long-term effects in favor of tDCS-SM was found on UE function and daily function recovery (ηp2= 0.02 – 0.09).

Conclusions

Accompanied with traditional rehabilitation, tDCS-SM had a non-significant trend of having immediate and longitudinal effects on voluntary UE movement recovery in patients with severe to moderate UE paresis after stroke, but its effects on spasticity reduction and functional recovery may be limited. (NCT01847157)

Source: Effects of Transcranial direct current stimulation with sensory modulation on stroke motor rehabilitation: A randomized controlled trial – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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