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RESEARCH AND REPORT ARTICLE: BRAIN INJURY AND NEURAL REGENERATION
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 31  |  Page : 2457-2464

Gait improvement after treadmill training in ischemic stroke survivors: A critical review of functional MRI studies


1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong Province, China
2 New York University School of Medicine, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine/NYU Langone Medical Center, New York 10011, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dongfeng Huang
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong Province
China
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Source of Support: This paper is supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30973165., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2012.31.007

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Stroke survivors often present with abnormal gait, movement training can improve the walking performance post-stroke, and functional MRI can objectively evaluate the brain functions before and after movement training. This paper analyzes the functional MRI changes in patients with ischemic stroke after treadmill training with voluntary and passive ankle dorsiflexion. Functional MRI showed that there are some changes in some regions of patients with ischemic stroke including primary sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area and cingulate motor area after treadmill training. These findings suggest that treadmill training likely improves ischemic stroke patients' lower limb functions and gait performance and promotes stroke recovery by changing patients' brain plasticity; meanwhile, the novel treadmill training methods can better training effects. Research Highlights
  1. This paper summarizes the functional MRI changes in ischemic stroke patients after treadmill training with voluntary and passive ankle dorsiflexion. There are some changes in some regions of ischemic stroke patients including primary sensorimotor cortex, supplementary motor area and cingulate motor area after treadmill training.
  2. Treadmill training can influence the brain plasticity of ischemic stroke patients.
  3. Virtual reality-based treadmill exercise and the KineAssist are novel gait training methods. MRI-compatible device and tract-specific analysis may contribute to a better understanding of lower extremity motor control in persons after stroke.
Abbreviations fMRI, functional MRI; ROIs, regions of interest; BWSTT, body weight-supported treadmill training; S1M1, primary sensorimotor cortex; FMA, Fugl-Meyer Assessment; SMA, supplementary motor areas; CMA, cingulate motor area; SII, secondary somatosensory cortex; M1, primary motor cortex; S1, primary sensory cortex; VR, virtual reality


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