Author(s): Hatakenaka M, Miyai I, Mihara M, Yagura H, Hattori N
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Motor learning is essential to gain skills with neurorehabilitation. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether capacity for motor learning affects rehabilitation outcome and its relevant brain activation in ataxic patients with stroke. METHODS: Twelve patients presenting with ataxia admitted for inpatient rehabilitation 2 to 3 months after infratentorial stroke and 6 control subjects performed 8 repetitions of 30-second pursuit rotor (PR) task. Cortical oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb) signals were measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. RESULTS: Both patients and controls learned the PR skill, although the gains in PR performance were significantly lower in patients. In patients, the less learning significantly correlated with smaller rehabilitation gains assessed by the Functional Independence Measure. The Fugl-Meyer score for coordination and balance did not change. Center of task-related increase of cortical oxyHb signals shifted from the presupplementary motor area (preSMA) to the supplementary motor area (SMA) with task repetitions in controls but not in patients. Accordingly, serial changes of ratio of oxyHb increase in the preSMA to SMA (preSMA/SMA ratio) were significantly different between the groups. In patients and controls, gains in PR performance and changes of the preSMA/SMA ratio correlated. CONCLUSIONS: Impaired motor sequence learning by the PR task was correlated with reduced rehabilitation gains for ataxic patients with stroke.
This article was published in Neurorehabil Neural Repair
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation