Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation Increases Natural Oscillatory Frequency in Ipsilesional Motor Cortex Post-Stroke: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Electroencephalography Study


Ding Qian,Chen Songbin,Chen Jixiang,Zhang Shunxi,Peng Yuan,Chen Yujie,Chen Junhui,Li Xiaotong,Chen Kang,Cai Guiyuan,Xu Guangqing,Lan Yue


ObjectiveIntermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) has been widely used as a neural modulation approach in stroke rehabilitation. Concurrent use of transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) offers a chance to directly measure cortical reactivity and oscillatory dynamics and allows for investigating neural effects induced by iTBS in all stroke survivors including individuals without recordable MEPs. Here, we used TMS-EEG to investigate aftereffects of iTBS following stroke.MethodsWe studied 22 stroke survivors (age: 65.2 ± 11.4 years; chronicity: 4.1 ± 3.5 months) with upper limb motor deficits. Upper-extremity component of Fugl-Meyer motor function assessment and action research arm test were used to measure motor function of stroke survivors. Stroke survivors were randomly divided into two groups receiving either Active or Sham iTBS applied over the ipsilesional primary motor cortex. TMS-EEG recordings were performed at baseline and immediately after Active or Sham iTBS. Time and time-frequency domain analyses were performed for quantifying TMS-evoked EEG responses.ResultsAt baseline, natural frequency was slower in the ipsilesional compared with the contralesional hemisphere (P = 0.006). Baseline natural frequency in the ipsilesional hemisphere was positively correlated with upper limb motor function following stroke (P = 0.007). After iTBS, natural frequency in the ipsilesional hemisphere was significantly increased (P < 0.001).ConclusionsThis is the first study to investigate the acute neural adaptations after iTBS in stroke survivors using TMS-EEG. Our results revealed that natural frequency is altered following stroke which is related to motor impairments. iTBS increases natural frequency in the ipsilesional motor cortex in stroke survivors. Our findings implicate that iTBS holds the potential to normalize natural frequency in stroke survivors, which can be utilized in stroke rehabilitation.


Frontiers Media SA


Cognitive Neuroscience,Aging







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