Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

Brain Stimulation Helps Partially Paralyzed Stroke Patients

  • Published: 2010-09-13 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-13) : Author: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Synopsis: Stroke patients left partially paralyzed found their condition improved after they received simple and non-invasive method of brain stimulation.

Quote: "We believe that people develop partial paralysis down one side after they have a stroke because the hemispheres of the brain become unbalanced, explains Professor Etribi."

Main Document

Brain stimulation can help partially paralyzed stroke patients regain use of their muscles - Researchers believe treatment helps to re-balance brain activity in affected and unaffected hemispheres.

Stroke patients who were left partially paralyzed found that their condition improved after they received a simple and non-invasive method of brain stimulation, according to research in the September issue of the European Journal of Neurology.

Researchers from the Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, studied 60 patients with ischaemic stroke - where the blood supply is reduced to the brain - who had been left with mild to moderate muscle weakness down one side of their body.

Twenty of the randomly assigned treatment group received repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied at 5-Hz over the brain hemisphere affected by the stroke and the other 20 received 1-Hz stimulation of the unaffected hemisphere. The remaining 20 formed the control group, receiving inactive placebo doses of the treatment. All patients received the same physical therapy.

"When we compared the results between the three groups, we found that both of the treatment groups showed significant motor function recovery" says co-author Anwar El Etribi, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University. "No improvements were seen in the control group who had received the placebo treatment and the same physical therapy protocol."

The majority of the patients (95 per cent) had suffered their stroke in the last three years, having been enrolled in the study at least one month after their stroke. However, there was no difference between the level of clinical improvement and the interval since the patients' strokes.

"We believe that people develop partial paralysis down one side after they have a stroke because the hemispheres of the brain become unbalanced" explains Professor Etribi. "The hemisphere that has not been affected can become over-active, while the damaged hemisphere can become inhibited.

"Our treatment worked on the theory that increasing the activity of the hemisphere affected by the stroke and reducing the activity of the unaffected hemisphere can reduce muscle weakness and improve overall motor function."

The 60 patients who took part in the study had similar baseline characteristics, apart from a lower incident of ischaemic heart disease in the 5-Hz rTMS group, which was unlikely to have had an effect on recovery.

Patients averaged just under 54 years of age and just over two-thirds were male.

The patients were randomly assigned to one of the three groups and magnetic stimulation was administered in three different ways:

Patients were clinically assessed at baseline and at two, four, eight and 12 weeks using a range of tools to determine motor function and cognitive status.

Further details of the scores and the treatment sessions are outlined in detail in the full paper.

"Our study shows that using rTMS can help patients who have suffered an ischaemic stroke and are experiencing partial paralysis on one side of their body to regain motor function" says Professor Etribi. "We also found that the time interval from stroke to treatment did not have an effect on how well the patient recovered.

"It appears that inhibitory and stimulatory rTMS may well prove useful tools in long-term programs to rehabilitate stroke patients."

The paper can be viewed free online at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.03000.x/pdf

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation at 1Hz and 5Hz produces sustained improvement in motor function and disability after ischaemic stroke. Emara et al. European Journal of Neurology . 17, pp1203-1209. (September 2010). DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.03000.x

• Discussion: Have Your Say! - Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Stroke Affects More Than Just Physical Functioning : American Academy of Neurology.
2 : Wearable Stretchable Electronics Aid Stroke Recovery Treatment : Northwestern University.
3 : Newborns Who Experience Stroke Regain Language Function in Opposite Side of Brain : Georgetown University Medical Center.
4 : Mini-Strokes - Understanding and Knowing the Warning Signs : Family Features.
5 : 1 in 3 American Adults May Have Already Had a Warning Stroke : American Stroke Association.
From our Stroke section - Full List (30 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Eating at Night, Sleeping By Day Alters Key Blood Proteins
2 : Interior Car Temperature Can Become Life-threatening for Children in an Hour
3 : 20 New Episodes of Letters to Lynette with Dr. Lynette Louise to Air on The Autism Channel in 2018
4 : Turnstone Center Designated as Official Paralympic Training Site by US Olympic Committee
5 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
6 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
7 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
8 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™