Clin EEG Neurosci. 2022 Aug 11:15500594221120136. doi: 10.1177/15500594221120136. Online ahead of print.
Background: Dry Needling (DN) has been demonstrated to be effective in improving sensorimotor function and spasticity in patients with chronic stroke. Electroencephalogram (EEG) has been used to analyze if DN has effects on the central nervous system of patients with stroke. There are no studies on how DN works in patients with chronic stroke based on EEG analysis using complex networks. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess how DN works when it is applied in a patient with stroke, using the graph theory. Methods: One session of DN was applied to the spastic brachialis muscle of a 62-year-old man with right hemiplegia after stroke. EEG was used to analyze the effects of DN following metrics that measure the topological configuration: 1) network density, 2) clustering coefficient, 3) average shortest path length, 4) betweenness centrality, and 5) small-worldness. Measurements were taken before and during DN. Results: An improvement of the brain activity was observed in this patient with stroke after the application of DN, which led to variations of local parameters of the brain network in the delta, theta and alpha bands, and inclined towards those of the healthy control bands. Conclusions: This case study showed the positive effects of DN on brain network of a patient with chronic stroke.