Rehabilitation Interventions Combined with Noninvasive Brain Stimulation on Upper Limb Motor Function in Stroke Patients

SOURCE: Brain Sciences. 12(8) (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 994.


AUTHORS: Cha T.-H.; Hwang H.-S.

This systematic review aimed to focus on the effects of rehabilitation interventions combined with noninvasive brain stimulation on upper limb motor function in stroke patients.

METHODS: PubMed, MEDLINE, and CINAHL were used for the literature research. Articles were
searched using the following terms: “”Stroke OR CVA OR cerebrovascular accident”” AND “”upper limb OR upper extremity”” AND “”NIBS OR Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation”” OR “”rTMS”” OR “”repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation”” OR “”tDCS”” OR “”transcranial direct current stimulation”” AND “”RCT”” OR randomized control trial.”” In total, 12 studies were included in the final analysis.

RESULTS: Analysis using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale for qualitative evaluation of the literature rated eight articles as “”excellent”” and four as “”good.”” Combined rehabilitation interventions included robotic therapy, motor imagery using brain-computer interaction, sensory control, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, task-oriented approach, task-oriented mirror therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, and behavior observation therapy.

CONCLUSION(S): Although it is difficult to estimate the recovery of upper limb motor function in stroke patients treated with noninvasive brain stimulation alone, a combination of a task-oriented approach, occupational therapy, action observation, wrist robot-assisted rehabilitation, and physical therapy can be effective.