Effects of somatosensory stimulation on use-dependent plasticity in chronic stroke

Lumy Sawaki, Carolyn W.H. Wu, Alain Kaelin-Lang, Leonardo G. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - There is a need to develop strategies to enhance the beneficial effects of motor training, including use-dependent plasticity (UDP), in neurorehabilitation. Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) modulates motor cortical excitability in healthy humans and could influence training effects in stroke patients. Methods - We compared the ability of PNS applied to the (1) arm, (2) leg, and (3) idle time to influence training effects in the paretic hand in 7 chronic stroke patients. The end point measure was the magnitude of UDP. Results - UDP was more prominent with arm stimulation (increased by 22.8%) than with idle time (by 2.9%) or leg stimulation (by 6.4%). Conclusions - PNS applied to the paretic limb paired with motor training enhances training effects on cortical plasticity in stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-247
Number of pages2
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Nerve stimulation
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Stimulation
  • Stroke
  • Transcranial magnetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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