UC Berkeley Press Release

Movement-dependent stroke recovery: A systematic review and meta-analysis of TMS and fMRI evidence.

Recuperacao do movimento apos acidente vascular cerebral: Revisao sistematica e meta-analises das evidencias da Estimulacao Magnetica (TMS) e Ressonancia Magnetica funciona (fMRI)l

Richards LG , Stewart KC , Woodbury ML , Senesac C , Cauraugh JH .

North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, University of Florida , USA ; Occupational Therapy, University of Florida , USA .

Evidence indicates that experience-dependent cortical plasticity underlies post-stroke motor recovery of the impaired upper extremity. Motor skill learning in neurologically intact individuals is thought to involve the primary motor cortex, and the majority of studies in the animal literature have studied changes in the primary sensorimotor cortex with motor rehabilitation. Whether changes in engagement in the sensorimotor cortex occur in humans after stroke currently is an area of much interest. The present study conducted a meta-analysis on stroke studies examining changes in neural representations following therapy specifically targeting the upper extremity to determine if rehabilitation-related motor recovery is associated with neural plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex of the lesioned hemisphere. Twenty-eight studies investigating upper extremity neural representations (e.g., TMS, fMRI, PET, or SPECT) were identified, and 13 met inclusion criteria as upper extremity intervention training studies. Common outcome variables representing changes in the primary motor and sensorimotor cortices were used in calculating standardized effect sizes for each study. The primary fixed effects model meta-analysis revealed a large overall effect size (ES=0.84, S.D.=0.15, 95% CI=0.76-0.93). Moreover, a fail-safe analysis indicated that 42 null effect studies would be necessary to lower the overall effect size to an insignificant level. These results indicate that neural changes in the sensorimotor cortex of the lesioned hemisphere accompany functional paretic upper extremity motor gains achieved with targeted rehabilitation interventions.

PMID: 17904594 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Neuropsychologia. 2007 Aug 24; [Epub ahead of print]