Background: Stroke affects the neuronal networks of the non-infarcted hemisphere. The central motor conduction time (CMCT) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) could be used to determine the conduction time of the corticospinal tract of the non-infarcted hemisphere after a stroke. Objectives: Our primary aim was to demonstrate the existence of prolonged CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere, measured within the first 48 h when compared to normative data, and secondly, if the severity of motor impairment of the affected upper limb was significantly associated with prolonged CMCTs in the non-infarcted hemisphere when measured within the first 2 weeks post stroke. Methods: CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere was measured in 50 patients within 48 h and at 11 days after a first-ever ischemic stroke. Patients lacking significant spontaneous motor recovery, so-called non-recoverers, were defined as those who started below 18 points on the FM-UE and showed less than 6 points (10%) improvement within 6 months. Results: CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere was prolonged in 30/50 (60%) patients within 48 h and still in 24/49 (49%) patients at 11 days. Sustained prolonged CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere was significantly more frequent in non-recoverers following FM-UE. Conclusions: The current study suggests that CMCT in the non-infarcted hemisphere is significantly prolonged in 60% of severely affected, is-chemic stroke patients when measured within the first 48 h post stroke. The likelihood of CMCT is significantly higher in non-recoverers when compared to those that show spontaneous motor recovery early post stroke.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Upper limb