The Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on the Gait of Acute Stroke Patients

  • Ji, Sang-Goo (Department of Physical Therapy, Eulji University Hospital) ;
  • Kim, Myoung-Kwon (Department of Physical Therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Daegu University)
  • Received : 2015.04.02
  • Accepted : 2015.05.14
  • Published : 2015.06.30


The aim of the present study was to examine whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can improve gait ability of acute stage stroke patients. This study was conducted with 39 subjects who were diagnosed as having a hemiparesis due to stroke. The experimental group included 20 subjects who underwent repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and the control group included 19 subjects who underwent sham therapy. The stroke patients in the experimental group underwent conventional rehabilitation therapy and rTMS was applied daily to the hotspot of the lesional hemisphere. The stroke patients in the control group underwent sham rTMS and conventional rehabilitation therapy. Participants in both groups received therapy five days per week for four weeks. Temporospatial gait characteristics, such as stance phase, swing phase, step length in affected side, velocity, and cadence, were assessed before and after the four week therapy period. A significant difference was observed in post-treatment gains for the step length in the affected side, velocity, and cadence between the experimental group and control group ( p < 0.05). However, no significant differences were observed between the two groups on stance phase and swing phase ( p > 0.05). We conclude that rTMS may be beneficial in improving the effects of acute stage stroke on gait ability.



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