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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-13

The effect of repetitive bilateral arm training with rhythmic auditory cueing on motor performance and central motor changes in patients with chronic stroke

Department of Physical Medicine, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Enas M Shahine
Department of Physical Medicine, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Postal code: 21531
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-161X.128128

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Objective The aim of this study was to compare the effects of bilateral arm training with auditory cueing (BATRAC) versus control intervention on motor performance of the upper extremity (UE) and to explore the central neurophysiological mechanism underlying this effect in moderately impaired chronic stroke patients. Design This was a randomized-controlled clinical trial. Materials and Methods Overall, 76 chronic stroke patients (mean age = 50.2 ± 6.2 years), 6-67 months after the onset of the first stroke were enrolled. They received either BATRAC (with both UE trained simultaneously in symmetric and asymmetric patterns) or control intervention (unilateral therapeutic exercises for the paretic UE). Each session lasted for 1 h, scheduled as three sessions/week (on an alternate day) for 8 successive weeks. Outcome measures included the Fugl-Meyer motor performance test for the UE (FMUE) and percutaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation to elicit motor-evoked potential (MEP) in paretic abductor pollicis brevis muscle. Results Group comparisons indicated a significantly better improvement in the MEP parameters (transcranial magnetic stimulation threshold, central motor conduction time, and MEP amplitude) in the BATRAC group. The FMUE scores increased in both groups, but there was no significant difference between groups in the FMUE scores. Conclusion These findings recommend the use of BATRAC in chronic stroke patients not only to improve motor performance but also to induce central neurophysiological effects.

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