Improvement of motor function with noninvasive cortical stimulation in a patient with chronic stroke.

Neurorehabilitation and neural repair, 2005; 19 (1) doi:10.1177/1545968304272698

Authors: Hummel Friedhelm, Cohen Leonardo G

Affiliation: National Institutes of Health, 20817, MD, United States

Abstract: This manuscript reports the effects of transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS), a technique that enhances cortical plasticity in healthy humans, on motor function in a patient with chronic subcortical ischemic stroke. tDCS but not sham applied in a double-blind protocol to motor regions of the affected hemisphere led to improvements in pinch force, Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test, and simple reaction times in the paretic hand that outlasted the stimulation period for at least 40 min. These changes were accompanied by increased corticomotor excitability identified by enhanced recruitment curves and reduced intracortical inhibition to transcranial magnetic stimulation. These results document a beneficial effect of noninvasive brain stimulation on motor function in a human patient with stroke and raise the hypothesis of its potential application in neurorehabilitation.

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