IMR Press / JIN / Volume 20 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin.2021.01.107
Open Access Brief Report
The prediction of need of using ankle-foot orthoses in stroke patients based on findings of a transcranial magnetic stimulation study
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1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, 41020 Daegu, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Rehabilitation Technology, Graduate School of Hanseo University, Seosan, 840 92 Chungcheongnam-do, Republic of Korea
*Correspondence: (Min Cheol Chang)
These authors contributed equally.
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2021, 20(1), 119–123;
Submitted: 1 February 2021 | Revised: 16 February 2021 | Accepted: 10 March 2021 | Published: 30 March 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are widely prescribed for stroke rehabilitation. We investigated the potential of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) at an early stage, after stroke, to predict the need of using AFOs in stroke patients. We recruited 35 patients who could walk with intermittent support of one person or independently 3 months after onset of stroke. The patients included in the study were classified into two groups: a TMS (+) group (n = 10), in which motor-evoked potential (MEP) in the affected tibialis anterior (TA) was present, and a TMS (-) group (n = 25), in which the MEP in the affected TA was absent. Three months after the onset of stroke, we investigated whether patients were using AFOs or not. We also checked the motor function of the affected lower extremity using the Medical Research Council (MRC) scale. After 3 months of onset of stroke in the TMS (+) group, 4 patients (40%) were using an AFO during ambulation. In the TMS (-) group, 21 patients (84%) were using an AFO. The probability of using AFOs in the 2 groups were significantly different. Additionally, 3 months after the onset of stroke, the MRC scores of ankle dorsiflexor power, on the affected side, were significantly higher in the TMS (+) group. Early TMS evaluation of the corticospinal tract to the TA appears to be useful for predicting the need of using AFOs in stroke patients during the recovery phase.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Ankle-foot orthosis
Motor function
Fig. 1.
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