Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Physiology 2014 (London, UK) (2014) Proc Physiol Soc 31, PCB130

Poster Communications

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

E. Shahine1

1. Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.

Objective: To compare the effects of bilateral arm training with auditory cueing (BATRAC) versus control intervention (CI) 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: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Methods: 76 chronic stroke patients (mean age = 50.2±6.2 years); 6 to 67 months after onset of the first stroke were enrolled. They received either BATRAC (with both UE trained simultaneously in symmetric and asymmetric patterns) or CI (unilateral therapeutic exercises for the paretic UE). Each session lasted for one hour, scheduled as 3 sessions/week (on an alternate day) for 8 successive weeks. Outcome measures included the Fugl-Meyer motor performance test for the UE (FM-UE) and percutaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to elicit motor evoked potential (MEP) in paretic abductor pollicis brevis (APB) muscle. Results: Group comparisons revealed a significantly better improvement in the MEP parameters (TMS threshold, central motor conduction time and MEP amplitude) in the BATRAC group. The FM-UE scores increased in both groups, but there was no significant difference between groups regarding the FM-UE 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.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements