Effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on arm function and decreasing unilateral spatial neglect in subacute stroke: a randomized controlled trial

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The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on the functional recovery of stroke patients with unilateral neglect.


Randomized controlled experimental study.


Outpatient rehabilitation hospital.


Thirty patients with stroke were randomly assigned to two groups: an rTMS group (experimental) and a control group.


Stroke patients in the experimental group underwent comprehensive rehabilitation therapy and rTMS. Stroke patients in the control group underwent sham therapy and comprehensive rehabilitation therapy. Participants in both groups received therapy 5 days per week for 4 weeks.

Main measures:

Line bisection, Albert, Box and block and Grip strength tests were assessed before and after the four-week therapy period.


A significant difference in the post-training gains in Line bisection (16.53 SD 9.78 vs. 3.60 SD 5.02), Albert (14.13 SD 4.92 vs. 3.26 SD 2.01), Box and block (15.06 SD 9.68 vs. 6.93 SD 7.52), and Grip strength tests (3.60 SD 2.66 vs 0.80 SD 1.26) was observed between the experimental group and the control group (P<0.05). In addition, the effect size for gains in the experimental and control groups was very strong in AT, BBT (effect size=2.15, 0.77 respectively).


We conclude that rTMS might be effective in improvement in reduction of the unilateral neglect and motor function.

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