Increased perfusion in motor areas after constraint-induced movement therapy in chronic stroke: a single-photon emission computerized tomography study

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005 Dec;25(12):1668-74. doi: 10.1038/sj.jcbfm.9600158.


Hemiparesis is the most common deficit after cerebral stroke. Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) is a new neurorehabilitation method that emphasizes task-relevant repetitive training for the stroke hand. Twelve chronic stroke patients were studied with single-photon emission computerized tomography at rest before and after the two-week CIMT period. Increased perfusion was found in motor control related areas. The specific areas with an increase in perfusion in the affected hemisphere were in the precentral gyrus, premotor cortex (Brodmann's area 6 (BA6)), frontal cortex, and superior frontal gyrus (BA10). In the nonaffected hemisphere, perfusion was increased in the superior frontal gyrus (BA6) and cingulate gyrus (BA31). In the cerebellum increased perfusion was seen bilaterally. The brain areas with increased perfusion receive and integrate the information from different sensory systems and plan the movement execution. Regional cerebral perfusion decreased in the lingual gyrus (BA18) in the affected hemisphere. In the nonaffected frontal cortex, two areas with decreased perfusion were found in the middle frontal gyrus (BA8/10). Also, the fusiform gyrus (BA20) and inferior temporal gyrus (BA37) in the nonaffected hemisphere showed decreased perfusion. Intensive movement therapy appears to change local cerebral perfusion in areas known to participate in movement planning and execution. These changes might be a sign of active reorganization processes after CIMT in the chronic state of stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Chronic Disease
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / blood supply
  • Gyrus Cinguli / diagnostic imaging
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / blood supply
  • Motor Cortex / diagnostic imaging*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Paresis / diagnostic imaging
  • Paresis / physiopathology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Rest
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Treatment Outcome