Transcranial Direct Electrical Stimulation for Hand Function in a Stroke Patient With Severe Upper Limb Paralysis due to Lenticulostriate Artery Occlusion

A Case Report

Koichiro Hirayama; Takeshi Fuchigami; Shu Morioka


J Med Case Reports. 2021;15(582) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation, a therapeutic modality to modulate the excitability of injured and uninjured brain hemispheres in stroke patients, is expected to be effective in treating upper limb paralysis. We describe the use of transcranial direct current stimulation to improve the function and frequency of use of the paralyzed hand of a patient with lenticulostriate artery occlusion.

Case Presentation: A Japanese man in his fifties developed a left internal hindfoot perforator branch infarction owing to lenticulostriate artery occlusion, and presented with severe right upper and lower limb paralysis. Multiple interventions for the paralyzed hand, primarily robot therapy, did not noticeably change his hand function or frequency of use in daily life. Therefore, transcranial direct current stimulation was used in combination with upper limb functional exercises for 20 minutes a day, five times a week, for 6 weeks. Consequently, scores for the hand items of the Fugl–Meyer Assessment of the upper extremities improved, and pain and subluxation around the shoulder joint were reduced. Furthermore, the frequency of use and the quality of movement of the paralyzed hand were improved.

Conclusions: Upper limb functional training and transcranial direct current stimulation improved the function and frequency of use of the paralyzed hand in a stroke patient with severe upper limb paralysis, suggesting that this combined intervention could effectively improve hand function in patients with severe upper limb paralysis.