Bihemispheric tDCS for upper-limb hemiparesis in acute stroke: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neuromodulation is a promising approach to increase motor recovery in stroke. However, so far, there is a scarcity of evidence documenting the clinical potential of tDCS administered in the acute phase of stroke. The present study aims to examine the clinical effects of a treatment involving the application of tDCS in the acute stage post-stroke.
METHODS: This is a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial. A cohort of 32 stroke patients with severe motor impairment underwent a 5-days treatment with real or sham bi-hemispheric tDCS over the motor cortex. During the treatment, tDCS was applied twice per day (2 daily applications each of 15 min), starting 48-72 hours after stroke onset.
RESULTS: We found statistically significant improvements after both real and sham tDCS treatments in primary (Hand Grip Strength, Motricity Index) and secondary (NIHSS, Barthel Index) outcomes. Patients receiving real tDCS showed a larger improvement of upper-limb muscle strength at the end of treatment phase; this advantage was not present any longer after 6 months.
CONCLUSIONS: tDCS may be used to accelerate the rate of upper-limb motor recovery during the spontaneous recovery period.
PMID: 32697879 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Eur J Neurol. 2020 Jul 22;:
Authors: Bolognini N, Russo C, Cairnero Souza MI, Nicotra A, Olgiati E, Spandri V, Agostoni E, Salmaggi A, Vallar G