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Effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on upper extremity functional recovery in stroke patients

Abdaleem Ateia, Waleed Talat, Amani Nawito, Noura Elkafrawy


Background: Upper extremity impairment as a deficit, affects the daily lives’ of the sufferers. Objective: To investigate the effect of bihemispheric tDCS on functional recovery of the affected upper extremity in chronic stroke patients. Patients and methods: Forty chronic stroke patients were allocated randomly to receive 10 consecutive sessions of either 1) simultaneous bihemispheric transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) (study group) or 2) simultaneous sham stimulation and CIMT (control group). Outcome measures include changes in affected upper extremity motor impairment (Motricity Index (MI), Fugl-Meyer Upper Extremity Motor Assessment (UE-FM)) and motor activity (Action Research Arm Test (ARAT)) assessments. Results: The improvement of motor function (MI, ARAT and UE-FM scores) were significantly greater in the real stimulation group than the sham group (p = 0.002, 0.01 and <0.001 respectively). Conclusions: Bihemispheric tDCS can improve the recovery of motor functions in chronic stroke.

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