Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for improving lower limb function in individuals with neurological disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized sham-controlled trials

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation vs sham stimulation on improving lower-limb functional outcomes in individuals with neurological disorders. Data sources: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase and Scopus databases were searched from inception to 31 March 2020 to identify papers (n = 1,198). Two researchers independently reviewed studies for eligibility. Randomized clinical trials with parallel-group design, involving individuals with neurological disorders, including lower-limb functional outcome measures and published in scientific peer-reviewed journals were included. Data extraction: Two researchers independently screened eligible papers (n = 27) for study design, clinical population characteristics, stimulation protocol and relevant outcome measures, and assessed study quality.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Studies presented a moderate risk of selection, attrition and reporting bias. An overall effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation was found for outcomes: gait (effect size [95% confidence interval; 95% CI]: 0.51 [0.29; 0.74], p = 0.003) and muscle strength (0.99 [0.40; 1.58], p = 0.001) and disorders: stroke (0.20 [0.00; 0.39], p = 0.05), Parkinson's disease (1.01 [0.65; 1.37], p = 0.02) and spinal cord injury (0.50 [0.14; 0.85], p = 0.006), compared with sham. No effect was found for outcomes: mobility and balance.

CONCLUSION: Supplementary repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may promote rehabilitation focused on ambulation and muscle strength and overall lower-limb functional recovery in individuals with stroke, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury. Further evidence is needed to extrapolate these findings. a.

TidsskriftJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2022

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