Transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques to improve spasticity and limb dyskinesia in stroke survivors

Takeaway

  • A combined approach using low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (LF-rTMS) plus cerebellar continuous theta burst (cTBS) stimulation provided superior results to either technique alone in treating spasticity and limb dyskinesia in stroke survivors with hemiplegia.

Why this matters

  • Spasticity and limb dyskinesia are common post-stroke disabilities that are traditionally treated with physiotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and surgery.

  • LF-rTMS and cTBS are painless, non-invasive, and well-tolerated rTMS approaches that can be used in stroke to inhibit excitability of contralesional motor cortical areas (M1).

  • Both LF-rTMS and cTBS techniques improve muscle spasticity and limb dyskinesia in isolation. However, it is possible that a combined LF-rTMS + cTBS approach could provide superior outcomes to either approach alone.