Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2002 Dec;16(4):326-38

Motor recovery and cortical reorganization after constraint-induced movement therapy in stroke patients: a preliminary study

Schaechter JD, Kraft E, Hilliard TS, Dijkhuizen RM, Benner T, Finklestein SP, Rosen BR, Cramer SC.


Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) is a physical rehabilitation regime that has been previously shown to improve motor function in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients. However, the neural mechanisms supporting rehabilitation-induced motor recovery are poorly understood. The goal of this study was to assess motor cortical reorganization after CIMT using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In a repeated-measures design, 4 incompletely recovered chronic stroke patients treated with CIMT underwent motor function testing and fMRI. Five age-matched normal subjects were also imaged. A laterality index (LI) was determined from the fMRI data, reflecting the distribution of activation in motor cortices contralateral compared with ipsilateral to the moving hand. Pre-intervention fMRI showed a lower LI during affected hand movement of stroke patients (LI = 0.23+/-0.07) compared to controls (LI unaffected patient hand = 0.65+/-0.10; LI dominant normal hand = 0.65+/-0.11; LI nondominant normal hand = 0.69+/-0.11; P

PMID: 12462764