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NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;33(4):593-603. doi: 10.3233/NRE-130999.

Cerebral activation evoked by the mirror illusion of the hand in stroke patients compared to normal subjects.

Author information

1
MEDIAN Klinik Berlin-Kladow, Berlin, Germany Center for Rehabilitation, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, China Department of Neurology, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
2
MEDIAN Klinik Berlin-Kladow, Berlin, Germany Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Charité- University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
3
Medical Faculty, Institute for Biometry and Medical Computer Science, University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Charité- University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
5
MEDIAN Klinik Berlin-Kladow, Berlin, Germany Department of Neurology, Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
6
MEDIAN Klinik Berlin-Kladow, Berlin, Germany Medical Faculty, Institute for Biometry and Medical Computer Science, University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.
7
MEDIAN Klinik Berlin-Kladow, Berlin, Germany Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Charité- University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany Center for Rehabilitation Research, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mirror therapy (MT) was found to improve motor function after stroke, but its neural mechanisms remain unclear, especially in single stroke patients.

OBJECTIVES:

The following imaging study was designed to compare brain activation patterns evoked by the mirror illusion in single stroke patients with normal subjects.

METHODS:

Fifteen normal volunteers and five stroke patients with severe arm paresis were recruited. Cerebral activations during movement mirroring by means of a video chain were recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Single-subject analysis was performed using SPM 8.

RESULTS:

For normal subjects, ten and thirteen subjects displayed lateralized cerebral activations evoked by the mirror illusion while moving their right and left hand respectively. The magnitude of this effect in the precuneus contralateral to the seen hand was not dependent on movement speed or subjective experience. Negative correlation of activation strength with age was found for the right hand only. The activation pattern in stroke patients is comparable to that of normal subjects and present in four out of five patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

In summary, the mirror illusion can elicit cerebral activation contralateral to the perceived hand in the majority of single normal subjects, but not in all of them. This is similar even in stroke patients with severe hemiparesis.

KEYWORDS:

Movement; imaging; mirror illusion; mirror therapy; stroke

PMID:
24018372
DOI:
10.3233/NRE-130999
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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