Effects of treadmill exercise on transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced excitability to quadriceps after stroke

Larry W. Forrester, Daniel F. Hanley, Richard F. Macko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine characteristics of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)-induced measures of central motor excitability to the paretic and nonparetic quadriceps muscles of chronic hemiparetic stroke patients in the context of a short-term, submaximal bout treadmill exercise. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Motor control and gait biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Convenience sample of 11 patients including cohorts of treadmill untrained (n=8) and trained (n=3) stroke patients with chronic hemiparetic gait. Intervention: Short-term submaximal treadmill exercise. Main Outcome Measures: Thresholds, amplitudes and latencies of TMS-induced motor evoked potentials at vastus medialis in paretic and nonparetic lower extremities. Results: Baseline characteristics of the motor evoked potentials (MEPs) show significantly higher motor thresholds, longer latencies, and reduced amplitudes on the paretic side. In cross-sectional comparisons a group of treadmill-trained patients had greater paretic MEP amplitude changes after treadmill exercise versus paretic MEP responses from a group of untrained patients. Conclusions: These results indicate that treadmill training for 3 months or more may alter responsiveness of the lower-extremity central motor pathways to a short-term treadmill stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Evoked potentials, motor
  • Magnetics
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Treadmill test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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