Contralesional hemisphere regulation of transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced kinetic coupling in the poststroke lower limb

Andrew Q. Tan, Yasin Y. Dhaher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The neural constraints underlying hemiparetic gait dysfunction are associated with abnormal kinetic outflow and altered muscle synergy structure. Recent evidence from our lab implicates the lesioned hemisphere in mediating the expression of abnormally coupled hip adduction and knee extension synergy, suggesting a role of cortical networks in the regulation of lower limb motor outflow poststroke. The potential contribution of contralesional hemisphere (CON-H) in regulating paretic leg kinetics is unknown. The purpose of this study is to characterize the effect of CON-H activation on aberrant across-joint kinetic coupling of the ipsilateral lower-extremity muscles poststroke. Methods: Amplitude-matched adductor longus motor-evoked potentials were elicited using single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the lesioned (L-H) and CON-Hs during an isometric adductor torque matching task from 11 stroke participants. For 10 control participants, TMS of the contralateral and ipsilateral hemisphere were given during the same task. TMS-induced torques were characterized at the hip and knee joints to determine the differential regulation of abnormal kinetic synergies by each motor cortices. The TMS-induced ratio of knee extension/hip adduction torques was quantified during 40 and 20% of maximum adduction torque. Findings: For both the 40 and 20% target adduction tasks, we find that contralesional stimulation significantly reduced but did not eliminate the TMS-induced ratio of knee extension/hip adduction torques for the stroke group (p = 0.0468, p = 0.0396). In contrast, the controls did not present a significantly different TMS-evoked torque following stimulation (p = 0.923) of the hemisphere ipsilateral to the test leg. interpretation: The reduced expression of abnormal across-joint kinetic coupling suggests that the CON-H may contribute an adaptive role in lower limb control poststroke. Future study of neuromodulation paradigms that leverage adaptive CON-H activation may yield clinically relevant gains in lower limb motor function poststroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number373
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberAUG
StatePublished - Aug 7 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Abnormal synergies
  • Contralesional hemiphere
  • Lower limb motor control
  • Neuromodulation
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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