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Rev Neurol. 2010 Oct 1;51(7):403-11.

[Changes in the functional magnetic resonance imaging of the sensorimotor cortex in traumatic brain injury after intensive rehabilitation].

[Article in Spanish]

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Laboratorio de Neurorrehabilitación y Biodinámica, Universidade do Vale do Paraíba, Instituto de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, IP&D, Brasil.



To evaluate the potential reorganization of the sensorimotor cortex in a patient with traumatic brain injury after an intensive motor rehabilitation.


A 17-year-old male with severe traumatic brain injury was submitted to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses of motor control before and after motor rehabilitation. The motor tasks performed during fMRI were finger tapping, ankle plantar flexion, and toe flexion.


Prior to treatment, the cerebrally activated areas for the right hand during finger tapping were the primary motor (M1), supplementary motor area (SMA), superior parietal and postcentral areas. For the left hand, the areas were the M1 and the cerebellum. After treatment, the activated areas were the pre and postcentral areas for the right hand and the precentral area for the left hand. For the foot motor-task, the activated areas prior to treatment were the paracentral area for the right foot, and the SMA, paracentral and poscentral areas for the left. After treatment, activation for the right foot was seen in the paracentral area, and activation for the left foot was seen in the paracentral area and SMA.


The decrease in the post-treatment activation pattern could be explained as a cortical reorganization, which in the current study was related to motor skill and motor automatism acquired by the patient.

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