Somatosensory Stimulation Enhances the Effects of Training Functional Hand Tasks in Patients With Chronic Stroke

Pablo Celnik, Friedhelm Hummel, Michelle Harris-Love, Rebecca Wolk, Leonardo G. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Celnik P, Hummel F, Harris-Love M, Wolk R, Cohen LG. Somatosensory stimulation enhances the effects of training functional hand tasks in patients with chronic stroke. Objective: To test the hypothesis that somatosensory stimulation would enhance the effects of training functional hand tasks immediately after practice and 1 day later in chronic subcortical stroke patients. Design: Single-blinded and randomized, crossover study. Setting: Human research laboratory. Participants: Nine chronic subcortical stroke patients. Interventions: Three separate sessions of motor training preceded by (1) synchronous peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS), (2) no stimulation, or (3) asynchronous PNS. Main Outcome Measures: Time to complete the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test (JTHFT time) and corticomotor excitability tested with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Results: After familiarization practice, during which all patients reached a performance plateau, training under the effects of PNS reduced JTHFT time by 10% beyond the post-familiarization plateau. This behavioral gain was accompanied by a specific reduction in GABAergically mediated intracortical inhibition in the motor cortex. These findings were not observed after similar practice under the influence of no stimulation or asynchronous PNS sessions. Conclusions: Somatosensory stimulation may enhance the training of functional hand tasks in patients with chronic stroke, possibly through modulation of intracortical GABAergic pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1369-1376
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Volume88
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

Keywords

  • Electric stimulation
  • Motor skills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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