Influence of Physical Therapy and Cholinergic Medication on the Life Quality Parameters in Post-Stroke with the arm Motor Dysfunction

Keywords: stroke, quality of life, physical therapy, functional independence, choline alphoscerate


Motor dysfunction makes the greatest contribution to the patient’s functional independence and has a significant impact on the quality of life (QOL) of post-stroke patients.

The objective of the research was to evaluate the impact of different physical therapy approaches and choline alphoscerate on the functional independence and quality of life in patients in 1 year after ischemic stroke.

Materials and methods. There were 104 patients examined in 1-year period after first anterior circulation ischemic stroke. Neurological status, functional independence and QOL were assessed according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), modified Rankin Scale (mRS), Functional Independence Measurement (FIM) and Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QOL). Patients in Group 1 received secondary stroke prevention therapy and performed the exercises complex for general muscle function improvement for 2 months; patients in Group 2 also performed the exercise complex for hand motility improvement for 2 months; patients in Group 3 received choline alphoscerate 400 mg twice a day for 2 months in addition to the abovementioned physical therapy.

Results. 2 months of physical therapy in Group 1 resulted in increase of “Transfer” and subtotal motor scores. A significant increase in the “Self-care”, “Transfer” and therefore subtotal motor and total scores was observed in the patients in Group 2 and Group 3; the motor subtotal and total scores in Group 3 were 11.4% and 11.6 % higher than the same indices in Group 1, respectively.

The most significant improvement of QOL parameters was observed in patients in Group 3, whose total score increased by 36.8% from the baseline (p<0.05), and exceeded the same index of Group 1 by 17.1% (p<0.05).

Conclusions. Adding of hand exercise into the physical therapy complex for post-stroke patients contributes to better upper extremity motor performance and therefore functional independence. Stimulation of cholinergic neurotransmission with the choline alphoscerate may also increase the efficacy of physical therapy and contribute to patients’ general mobility, upper extremity function and QOL.


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Original Research