Effects of Low-Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Combined with Cerebellar Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation on Spasticity and Limb Dyskinesia in Patients with Stroke.

Source: BMC Neurology. 21(1):369, 2021 Sep 24.

Authors: Li D; Cheng A; Zhang Z; Sun Y; Liu Y

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been reported to treat muscle spasticity in post-stroke patients. The purpose of this study was to explore whether combined low-frequency rTMS (LF-rTMS) and cerebellar continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) could provide better relief than different modalities alone for muscle spasticity and limb dyskinesia in stroke patients.

METHODS: This study recruited ninety stroke patients with hemiplegia, who were divided into LF-rTMS+cTBS group (n=30), LF-rTMS group (n=30) and cTBS group (three pulse bursts at 50 Hz, n=30). The LF-rTMS group received 1 Hz rTMS stimulation of the motor cortical (M1) region on the unaffected side of the brain, the cTBS group received cTBS stimulation to the cerebellar region, and the LF-rTMS+cTBS group received 2 stimuli as described above. Each group received 4 weeks of stimulation followed by rehabilitation. Muscle spasticity, motor function of limb and activity of daily living (ADL) were evaluated by modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) and Modified Barthel Index (MBI) scores, respectively.

RESULTS: The MAS score was markedly decreased, FMA and MBI scores were markedly increased in the three groups after therapy than before therapy. In addition, after therapy, LF-rTMS+cTBS group showed lower MAS score, higher FMA and MBI scores than the LF-rTMS group and cTBS group.

CONCLUSION: Muscle spasticity and limb dyskinesia of the three groups are all significantly improved after therapy. Combined LF-rTMS and cTBS treatment is more effective in improving muscle spasticity and limb dyskinesia of patients after stroke than LF-rTMS and cTBS treatment alone.