Heart rate variability and respiratory muscle strenght in a stroke patient submitted to neurofeedback: A case report
Background: Stroke is a neurological disease that causes sudden loss of brain functions. One of the most important symptoms is hemiparesis, which due to the weakness of the trunk promotes a decrease in diaphragmatic power and impairs pulmonary function. In addition to the respiratory system, stroke can lead to impairment of the cardiovascular system. This occurs when the Autonomic Nervous System is affected, increasing the risk of the development of Heart Rate Variability due to sympathetic hyperactivity, this condition may predict an unfavorable prognosis after stroke. Case presentation: The aim of this study was to evaluate the variability of heart rate and respiratory muscle strength in a 61-year-old female patient diagnosed with a stroke three months prior to the study submitted to Neurofeedback training. That’s the first report of this kind in the literature. Cardiopulmonary evaluation was performed with a focus on heart rate and respiratory muscle strength before and after an intervention with five brain training sessions using the Neurofeedback BrainLink LITE. Conclusion: After therapy, significant alterations in the Delta wave increase and reduction of the Alpha wave were observed, also changes in the Autonomic Nervous System parameters were observed, with reduction of the sympathetic activity and increase of the parasympathetic activity, along with that, a reduction in the stress index was observed. The intervention was still positive in the improvement of respiratory parameters, with an increase in the overall inspiratory muscle strength index (S-Index) and peak inspiratory flow (PIF). It is suggested that Neurofeedback is efficient in recovering functions related to Autonomic Nervous System and respiratory system.