Functional impairment of the lower limb is a major complication in stroke patients. The involvement of the cortex in pedaling has critical clinical implications to control of cyclical motor functions in patients with damaged cortical structures or cortical pathways.The study aimed at determining the effect of reciprocal pedaling exercise (RPE) on the gait and cortical reorganization in the stroke patients.
Forty patients suffering from stroke with hemiparesis will be included in this study. They were divided to Group I treated by training for lower limb muscles of the affected side. While Group II were treated by the same program as group I in addition to RPE. Quantitative EEG (QEEG) was carried for all patients before and after the treatment programs. The midline frontal, central and parietal regions (Fz, Cz and Pz) were studied for evidence of plasticity induced by RPE.
Neuroplasticity was noticed among patients of group II in the midline frontal region (Fz) and to a lesser extent the midline central region (Cz).
The rhythmic and reciprocal nature of cycling motion permits patients to generate timely symmetrical and reciprocal powers from both limbs required for locomotion.
Leg cycling exercise, and thus RPE, is a rehabilitation program that improves the function of ambulation in stroke patients.
Post stroke physical therapy can utilize RPE for better rehabilitation.