Double-blind, randomized, pilot study on the application of tDCS and rTMS to promote motor recovery in patients with acute or chronic cerebral ischemia

Project Objectives

The aim of this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study is to evaluate the benefits resulting from the use of rTMS/tDCS for the treatment of patients with acute and chronic ischemic stroke. These effects may be determined by inducing brain plasticity phenomena, through long-term potentiation mechanisms (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD), both in the injured and contralateral hemisphere.

Primary objectives:

  • To evaluate the effects of rTMS/tDCS on the outcome of acute stroke patients after one month, three months, six months and twelve months from the acute event.
  • To evaluate whether the inclusion of rTMS/tDCS is able to improve the effects of motor rehabilitation in patients with chronic ischemic stroke.

Secondary objectives:

  • To evaluate the effects on the recovery time of patients.
  • To compare the outcomes of patients in acute and chronic phases after the application of rTMS/tDCS.
  • To compare the effects of rTMS/tDCS alone the effects obtained with a combination of rTMS/tDCS with rehabilitation therapy.
  • To evaluate, through TMS, the physiological correlates of the possible benefits obtained in order to identify the physiological markers of the possible response to proposed approaches thus developing a method to select patients for future clinical trials.

Start/End Date

2013 - 2016

Principal Investigator

Prof. Vincenzo Di Lazzaro

Host Institution

Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome

Source of funding

No-profit project