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Stroke. 2012 Sep;43(9):2506-9. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.663641. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Cortical changes after mental imagery training combined with electromyography-triggered electrical stimulation in patients with chronic stroke.

Author information

1
Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Paresis of the upper extremity after stroke is not effectively solved by existing therapies. We investigated whether mental imagery training combined with electromyogram-triggered electric stimulation improved motor function of the paretic upper extremity in patients with chronic stroke and induced cortical changes.

METHODS:

Fourteen subjects with chronic stroke (≥12 months) were randomly allocated to receive mental imagery training combined with electromyogram-triggered electric stimulation (n=7) or generalized functional electric stimulation (n=7) on the forearm extensor muscles of the paretic extremity in 2 20-minute daily sessions 5 days a week for 4 weeks. The upper extremity component of the Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment, the Motor Activity Log, the modified Barthel Index, and (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose brain positron emission tomography were measured before and after the intervention.

RESULTS:

The group receiving mental imagery training combined with electromyogram-triggered electric stimulation exhibited significant improvements in the upper extremity component of the Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment after intervention (median, 7; interquartile range, 5-8; P<0.05), but the group receiving functional electric stimulation did not (median, 0; interquartile range, 0-3). Differences in score changes between the 2 groups were significant. The mental imagery training combined with electromyogram-triggered electric stimulation group showed significantly increased metabolism in the contralesional supplementary motor, precentral, and postcentral gyri (P(uncorrected)<0.001) after the intervention, but the functional electric stimulation group showed no significant differences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mental imagery training combined with electromyogram-triggered electric stimulation improved motor function of the paretic extremity in patients with chronic stroke. The intervention increased metabolism in the contralesional motor-sensory cortex. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: https://e-irb.khmccri.or.kr/eirb/receipt/index.html?code=02&status=5. Unique identifier: KHUHMDIRB 1008-02.

PMID:
22798329
DOI:
10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.663641
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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