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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 570--576

Neural interface of mirror therapy in chronic stroke patients: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study

1 Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 N. M. R, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 N. M. R and Stem Cell Facility, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashu Bhasin
Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi -110 029
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Source of Support: The research was funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.105188

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Background: Recovery in stroke is mediated by neural plasticity. Neuro-restorative therapies improve recovery after stroke by promoting repair and function. Mirror neuron system (MNS) has been studied widely in humans in stroke and phantom sensations. Materials and Methods: Study subjects included 20 patients with chronic stroke and 10 healthy controls. Patients had clinical disease-severity scores, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffuse tensor imaging (DTI) at baseline, 8 and at 24 weeks. Block design with alternate baseline and activation cycles was used with a total of 90 whole brain echo planar imaging (EPI) measurements (timed repetition (TR) = 4520 ms, timed echo (TE) = 44 ms, slices = 31, slice thickness = 4 mm, EPI factor 127, matrix = 128 × 128, FOV = 230 mm). Whole brain T1-weighted images were acquired using 3D sequence (MPRage) with 120 contiguous slices of 1.0 mm thickness. The mirror therapy was aimed via laptop system integrated with web camera, mirroring the movement of the unaffected hand. This therapy was administered for 5 days in a week for 60-90 min for 8 weeks. Results: All the patients showed statistical significant improvement in Fugl Meyer and modified Barthel Index (P < 0.05) whereas the change in Medical Research Council (MRC) power grade was not significant post-therapy (8 weeks). There was an increase in the laterality index (LI) of ipsilesional BA 4 and BA 6 at 8 weeks exhibiting recruitment and focusing principles of neural plasticity. Conclusions: Mirror therapy simulated the "action-observation" hypothesis exhibiting recovery in patients with chronic stroke. Therapy induced cortical reorganization was also observed from our study.


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