Assessing recovery in middle cerebral artery stroke using functional MRI

Brain Inj. 2005 Dec;19(13):1165-76. doi: 10.1080/02699050500149858.


Primary objective: To understand the temporal evolution of brain reorganization during recovery from stroke.

Research design: A patient who suffered left middle cerebral artery stroke 9 months earlier was studied on three occasions, approximately 1 month apart.

Methods and procedures: Brain activation was studied using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). During each session, the patient performed a finger-to-thumb opposition task, which involved one bimanual and two unimanual conditions. Each condition consisted of overt movement of fingers and imagery of the same task.

Results: With recovery, greater recruitment was observed of the affected primary motor cortex (M1) and a decrease in activation of the unaffected M1 and supplementary motor area. In addition, the widespread activation of brain areas seen during the initial session changed to a more focused pattern of activation as the patient recovered. Imagery tasks resulted in similar brain activity as overt execution pointing to imagery as a potential tool for rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor
  • Fingers / innervation
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / physiopathology*
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / rehabilitation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*