Placebo-Controlled Study of rTMS Combined with Lokomat Gait Training for Treatment in Subjects with Motor Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Kumru H; Benito-Penalva J; Valls-Sole J; Murillo N; Tormos JM; Flores C; Vidal J.
Experimental Brain Research. 234(12):3447-3455, 2016 Dec.
High-frequency rTMS combined with gait training improves lower extremity motor score (LEMS) and gait velocity in SCI subjects who are able to walk over ground. The aim of this study was to optimize the functional outcome in early phases of gait rehabilitation in SCI using rTMS as an additional treatment to physical therapy. The present study included 31 motor incomplete SCI subjects randomized to receive real or sham rTMS, just before Lokomat gait training (15 subjects for real, 16 for sham rTMS). rTMS consisted of one daily session for 20 days over vertex (at 20 Hz). The subjects were evaluated using modified Ashworth scale (MAS) for spasticity, upper and lower extremity motor score (UEMS and LEMS, respectively), ten meters walking test (10MWT) and Walking Index for SCI (WISCI-II) for gait at baseline, after last rTMS session, and during follow-up. UEMS and LEMS improved significantly after last session in both groups and during follow-up period. The improvement was greater in real than in sham rTMS group. At follow-up, 71.4 % of the subjects after real rTMS and 40 % of the subjects after sham rTMS could perform 10MWT without significant differences in gait velocity, cadence, step length and WISCI-II between both groups. We conclude that 20 sessions of daily high-frequency rTMS combined with Lokomat gait training can lead to clinical improvement of gait in motor incomplete SCI. Such combined treatment improved motor strength in lower extremity in incomplete SCI subjects and in upper extremity in those with cervical SCI.