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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Motor cortex organization after stroke is related to side of stroke and level of recovery.

  • Author(s): Zemke, Anna C
  • Heagerty, Patrick J
  • Lee, Christopher
  • Cramer, Steven C
  • et al.

The present study hypothesized that side of stroke and level of recovery influence motor system organization after stroke.Functional MRI was performed on 14 control subjects and 21 patients with chronic stroke during index finger tapping (control subjects, right; patients, recovered side).On functional MRI, stroke patients with right arm involvement showed (1) significantly smaller activation in contralateral motor cortexes compared with control subjects; (2) smaller ipsilateral (nonstroke) premotor and larger contralateral (stroke-side) sensorimotor activation compared with patients with left arm involvement, although electromyogram across groups was similar; and (3) 2.7-fold-larger contralateral sensorimotor cortex activation, ventrally, in those with full recovery compared with those with partial recovery, despite similar tapping force, frequency, range of motion, and electromyogram between groups. Supplementary motor area activation was unrelated to level of recovery.After stroke that causes mild to moderate initial impairment and mild residual hand weakness, cortical organization varies with side of injury and with final motor status. The findings may have implications for treatment after stroke.

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