Stroke: Cerebellar Stimulation Improved Motor Function Interview with:

Giacomo Koch, MD, PhD Laboratorio di Neurologia Clinica e Comportamentale Fondazione S. Lucia I.R.C.C.S. taly

Dr. Koch

Giacomo Koch, MD, PhD
Laboratorio di Neurologia Clinica e Comportamentale
Fondazione S. Lucia I.R.C.C.S.
Italy What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: We show in this paper that non invasive stimulation of the cerebellum in patients with stroke is able to improve motor functions.

In particular we found that after three weeks of repetitive TMS of the intact cerebellum patients with hemiparesis due to stroke in the cerebral hemisphere remarkably improved their ability to walk and keep their balance, thus highly reducing the risk of fall. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For the first time we modulated the neural activity of the cerebellum in the context of a clinical trial in patients suffering from large stroke in the territory of the middle cerebral artery. We found that cerebellar stimulation was able to improve the outcome when coupled with rehabilitation by changing the activity of neural networks connecting the cerebellum with the parietal cortex. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: So far most of the studies using methods of non invasive brain stimulation did not provide consistent results. But these studies mainly tried to modulated the activity of the primary motor cortex. Our study shows that targeting alternative networks connected with motor cortex may be a more successful strategy.


Koch G, Bonnì S, Casula EP, et al. Effect of Cerebellar Stimulation on Gait and Balance Recovery in Patients With Hemiparetic StrokeA Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA Neurol. Published online November 26, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.3639


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