In this study, we investigated the relationship between the motor evoked potentials obtained from trunk muscles and the clinical function of trunk muscle. Twenty patients with unilateral hemispheric stroke and 11 healthy adults were examined. The responses of the bilateral external oblique muscles and the erector spinae muscles to the magnetic stimulation of multiple sites over both cortical hemispheres were recorded. Trunk muscle performance was assessed using the Trunk Control Test and Stroke Impairment Assessment Set. In the stroke group, stimulation of the affected hemisphere resulted in a motor evoked potential in only one patient, while the other 19 stroke patients produced no response to stimulation of the affected hemisphere. Stimulation of the unaffected hemisphere evoked bilateral responses in 19 patients. Further, stimulation of the unaffected hemisphere in the stroke group produced larger motor evoked potentials in the ipsilateral muscles than the motor evoked potentials recorded in the ipsilateral muscles of the control group. The clinical assessment scores of trunk function (i.e. Trunk Control Test and trunk items of Stroke Impairment Assessment Set) were correlated with the amplitudes of the motor evoked potentials of the ipsilateral external oblique muscle that were evoked by stimulation of the unaffected hemisphere. Our results suggest that the recovery of trunk function after stroke is associated with an increase in ipsilateral motor evoked potentials in the external oblique muscle upon stimulation of the unaffected hemisphere, suggesting a role for compensatory activation of uncrossed pathways in recovery of trunk function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation