Aim: The effect of electrical somatosensory stimulation on motor performance of the affected hand was investigated in 12 chronic subcortical stroke subjects.
Methods: Subjects performed index finger and hand tapping movements as well as reach-to-grasp movements with both the affected and unaffected hand prior to (baseline conditions) and following (1) 2 h of electrical somatosensory stimulation (trains of five pulses at 10 Hz with 1 ms duration delivered at 1 Hz with an intensity on average 60% above the individual somatosensory threshold) of the median nerve of the affected hand or (2) 2 h of idle time on separate occasions at least 1 week apart. The order of sessions was counterbalanced across subjects.
Results: Somatosensory stimulation of the median nerve of the affected hand, but not a period of idle time, enhanced the frequency of index finger and hand tapping movements and improved the kinematics of reach-to-grasp movements performed with the affected hand, compared with baseline. Somatosensory stimulation did not impact on motor performance of the unaffected hand.
Discussion: The data suggest that electrical somatosensory stimulation may improve motor function of the affected hand after stroke; however, further studies are needed to test if the implementation of somatosensory stimulation in rehabilitation of hand function also impacts on manual activities of daily life after stroke.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
See Editorial Commentary, p 586
Funding: DAN was supported by an internal grant of the Köln Fortune Stiftung.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was provided by the Ethics Committee of the University of Cologne.
Patient consent: Obtained.