Background Intensive motor training with low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has efficacy as a therapeutic method for motor dysfunction of the affected upper limb in patients with mild to moderate stroke. However, it is not clear whether this combination therapy has the same effect in chronic post-stroke patients with severe upper limb motor impairment. Objectives The aim of this study was to test the treatment effects of intensive motor training with low-frequency rTMS in chronic post-stroke patients with severe upper limb motor impairment. Methods A convenience sample of 26 chronic post-stroke patients with severe upper limb motor impairment participated in this study with the non-randomized, non-controlled clinical trial. All subjects were hospitalized to receive intensive motor training with low-frequency rTMS. During 2 weeks in which Sundays were excluded, a total of 24 sessions (2 sessions per day) of the intervention were conducted. The Fugl–Meyer Assessment (FMA) and Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) were used to assess motor impairment and function of the affected upper limb, respectively, before and after intervention. Paired t-test was used to analyze the effects of the intervention. Results The FMA total score and WMFT log performance time significantly improved from before to after intervention (FMA: 12.6–18.0; WMFT: 3.6–3.3, p < 0.001). Conclusions The present results suggest that intensive motor training with low-frequency rTMS could improve motor impairment in chronic post-stroke patients with severe upper limb motor impairment and contribute to the expansion of the application range of this combination therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Community and Home Care
- Clinical Neurology