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Treatment Improves Motor Function in Stroke Patients

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation increases magnitude, duration of effects

THURSDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- In stroke patients, five consecutive sessions of transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment improves motor function without causing adverse cognitive effects of epileptogenic activity, according to a report published online June 30 in Stroke.

Felipe Fregni, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues randomized 15 stroke patients to receive either five sessions of rTMS to the unaffected hemisphere or sham treatment.

The researchers found that the treatment group experienced a significant improvement of motor function performance in their affected hand, which persisted for two weeks, an effect not seen in the sham-treatment group. They also found that the treatment group showed decreased corticospinal excitability in the unaffected hemisphere and increased excitability in the affected hemisphere.

"These results support and extend the findings of previous studies on rTMS in stroke patients because five consecutive sessions of rTMS increased the magnitude and duration of the motor effects," the authors conclude.

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