Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of contralesional primary motor cortex improves hand function after stroke

Naoyuki Takeuchi, Takayo Chuma, Yuichiro Matsuo, Ichiro Watanabe, Katsunori Ikoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

485 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose - A recent report has demonstrated that the contralesional primary motor cortex (M1) inhibited the ipsilesional M1 via an abnormal transcallosal inhibition (TCI) in stroke patients. We studied whether a decreased excitability of the contralesional M1 induced by 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) caused an improved motor performance of the affected hand in stroke patients by releasing the TCI. Methods - We conducted a double-blind study of real versus sham rTMS in stroke patients. After patients had well-performed motor training to minimize the possibility of motor training during the motor measurement, they were randomly assigned to receive a subthreshold rTMS at the contralesional M1 (1 Hz, 25 minutes) or sham stimulation. Results - When compared with sham stimulation, rTMS reduced the amplitude of motor-evoked potentials in contralesional M1 and the TCI duration, and rTMS immediately induced an improvement in pinch acceleration of the affected hand, although a plateau in motor performance had been reached by the previous motor training. This improvement in motor function after rTMS was significantly correlated with a reduced TCI duration. Conclusions - We have demonstrated that a disruption of the TCI by the contralesional M1 virtual lesion caused a paradoxical functional facilitation of the affected hand in stroke patients; this suggests a new neurorehabilitative strategy for stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2681-2686
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec


  • Corpus callosum
  • Rehabilitation
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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