Spinal Cord Stimulation for Poststroke Hemiparesis: A Scoping Review

Jonathan R. Allen, Swathi R. Karri, Chen Yang, Mary Ellen Stoykov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Importance: Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a neuromodulation technique that can improve paresis in individuals with spinal cord injury. SCS is emerging as a technique that can address upper and lower limb hemiparesis. Little is understood about its effectiveness with the poststroke population. Objective: To summarize the evidence for SCS after stroke and any changes in upper extremity and lower extremity motor function. Data Sources: PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and CINAHL. The reviewers used hand searches and reference searches of retrieved articles. There were no limitations regarding publication year. Study Selection and Data Collection: This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist. The inclusion and exclusion criteria included a broad range of study characteristics. Studies were excluded if the intervention did not meet the definition of SCS intervention, used only animals or healthy participants, did not address upper or lower limb motor function, or examined neurological conditions other than stroke. Findings: Fourteen articles met the criteria for this review. Seven studies found a significant improvement in motor function in groups receiving SCS. Conclusions and Relevance: Results indicate that SCS may provide an alternative means to improve motor function in the poststroke population. Plain-Language Summary: The results of this study show that spinal cord stimulation may provide an alternative way to improve motor function after stroke. Previous neuromodulation methods have targeted the impaired supraspinal circuitry after stroke. Although downregulated, spinal cord circuitry is largely intact and offers new possibilities for motor recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7802180220
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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