We investigated the effect of task-oriented training (TT) on the cortical activation pattern in four chronic hemiparetic stroke patients. A TT program, consisting of six tasks, which were designed to improve hemiparetic upper extremity function, was performed for 40 min/day, 4 days/week for 4 weeks. The functional status of the affected hand and fMRI were assessed before and after the TT program. fMRI was performed at 1.5 T in parallel with timed finger flexion-extension exercises at a fixed rate. The main cortical activation changes with functional recovery were a decrease in the unaffected and an increase in the affected primary sensorimotor cortex activities. In conclusion, it seems that cortical reorganization was induced by the TT program in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients.
Copyright 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins