Purpose: This study analyzed the characteristics of responders vs. nonresponders in people with stroke receiving a novel form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to improve hand function. Methods: Twelve people with stroke received five treatments of 6-Hz primed low-frequency rTMS to the contralesional primary motor area. We compared demographic factors, clinical features, and the ipsilesional/contralesional volume ratio of selected brain regions in those who improved hand performance (N = 7) on the single-hand component of the Test Évaluant la performance des Membres supérieurs des Personnes Âgées (TEMPA) and those who showed no improvement (N = 5). Results: Responders showed significantly greater baseline paretic hand function on the TEMPA, greater preservation volume of the ipsilesional posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC), and lower scores (i.e. less depression) on the Beck Depression Inventory than nonresponders. There were no differences in age, sex, stroke duration, paretic side, stroke hemisphere, baseline resting motor threshold for ipsilesional primary motor area (M1), NIH Stroke Scale, Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer, Mini-Mental State Examination, or preservation volume of M1, primary somatosensory area, premotor cortex, or supplementary motor area. Conclusion: Our results support that preserved PLIC volume is an important influential factor affecting responsiveness to rTMS.
- Posterior limb internal capsule
- Primary motor area
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation