Brain stimulation techniques provide a powerful means to modulate the function of specific neural structures, and show potential for future applications in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Recent studies have started to translate to the bedside the body of data gathered over the last few years on mechanisms underlying brain plasticity and stroke recovery. Both noninvasive and invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation and direct cortical stimulation with epidural electrodes, have recently been tested in small studies with stroke patients. The results to date are very promising. Nonetheless, we are still at an early stage in the field and further evidence is needed to assess the clinical impact of this new approach. In this review, we provide readers with a basic introduction to the field, summarize preliminary studies and discuss future directions.

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