Clinical Research|Articles in Press

Recovery of Patients With Upper Limb Paralysis Due to Stroke Who Underwent Intervention Using Low-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Combined With Occupational Therapy: A Retrospective Cohort Study



      The combination of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and motor practice is based on the theory of neuromodulation and use-dependent plasticity. Predictive planning of occupational therapy (OT) is important for patients with rTMS conditioning. Recovery characteristics based on the severity of pretreatment upper extremity paralysis can guide the patient’s practice plan for using the paretic hand. Therefore, we evaluated the recovery of patients with upper limb paralysis due to stroke who underwent a novel intervention of rTMS combined with OT (NEURO) according to the severity of upper limb paralysis based on the scores of the Fugl–Meyer assessment for upper extremity (FMA-UE) with recovery in proximal upper extremity, wrist, hand, and coordination.

      Materials and Methods

      In this multicenter retrospective cohort study, the recovery of 1397 patients with upper limb paralysis was analyzed by severity at six hospitals that were accredited by the Japanese Stimulation Therapy Society for treatment. The delta values of the FMA-UE scores before and after NEURO were compared among the groups with severe, moderate, and mild paralysis using the generalized linear model.


      NEURO significantly improved the FMA-UE total score according to the severity of paralysis (severe = 5.3, moderate = 6.0, and mild = 2.9). However, when the FMA-UE subscores were analyzed separately, the results indicated specific improvements in shoulder/elbow, wrist, fingers, and coordination movements, depending on the severity.


      This study had enough patients who were divided according to severity and stratified by lesion location and handedness parameters. Our results suggest that independently of these factors, the extent of recovery of upper limb motor parts after NEURO varies according to the severity of paralysis.


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