Effects of mirror neurons stimulation on motor skill rehabilitation in children with cerebral palsy: a clinical trial

J Med Assoc Thai. 2012 Jan;95 Suppl 1:S166-72.


Objective: The authors aimed to compare the motor function measured by Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66) between mirror neurons stimulation based VCD program at home and conventional physical therapy in children with cerebral palsy for two months.

Material and method: A randomized controlled trial was performed with thirty children with spastic diplegia aged 2-10 years in Thammasat university hospital and Rajanukul institue. They were randomly assigned to receive either the mirror neurons stimulation based VCD program practice at home (experimental group) or the conventional physical therapy (control group) for two months. Both groups were measured the motor function by GMFM-66 at entry, the first month and the end of the second month. Analysis of covariance was used to compare mean changes of GMFM-66 scores between both groups at the second month after adjusted for the baseline level.

Results: A total of 30 children with cerebral palsy, aged 2.2-9.5 years (mean age 5.9 +/- 2.2 years). The mean changes of the GMFM scores in experimental group were slightly higher than those in the control group of 2.1 (95% CI: -2.3, 6.5) at the second month after adjusted for the baseline level. The mean GMFM scores were significantly improved in all dimensions except lying and rolling dimension, at the first and second month when compared to the baseline level in both groups.

Conclusion: This pilot study demonstrated the mirror neurons stimulation based VCD program can improve motor function, at least, as much as the conventional physical therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mirror Neurons / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome