Single session of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increased dual-task gait speed in chronic stroke: A pilot study

Hui Ting Goh, Kendall Connolly, Jenna Hardy, Karen McCain, Delaina Walker-Batson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Individuals with stroke often experience difficulty in dual-task walking and are prone to falling when walking and talking. Previous studies in other populations have suggested that non-invasive brain stimulation could enhance dual-task gait performance by stimulating dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) or supplementary motor area (SMA). It was unclear if the benefits of brain stimulation would be observed in individuals with stroke. Research Question: Would single-session 5 Hz rTMS applied to DLPFC or SMA improve dual-task gait performance in individuals with stroke? Methods: This single group repeated measure study included fifteen individuals with left chronic stroke (mean age = 58 years). Participants received 5 Hz rTMS to either DLPFC, SMA, or M1 of the left lesioned hemisphere across three different sessions. Single- and dual-task gait speed was assessed before and after rTMS with the dualtask gait being walking and counting backward by 3 s. Results: We observed that rTMS to left DLPFC resulted in a greater increase in dual-task gait speed, but not single-task gait speed, compared to the other two stimulation sites (M1 and SMA) but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.06). Five out of fifteen participants demonstrated a clinically significant improvement in dual-task gait speed (> 0.1 m/s) after rTMS to DLPFC. Significances: The results suggest that DLPFC could be a potential treatment target to improve dual-task gait performance in persons with chronic stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
Volume78
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Brain stimulation
  • Dual-task interference
  • FALL
  • Motor-Cognitive interference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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