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Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01227

Alternative Motor Task-Based Pattern Training with a Digital Mirror Therapy System Enhances Sensorimotor Signal Rhythms Post-Stroke

Chao-Sheng Chang1, Ying-Ying Lo2,  Chien-Liang Chen2,  Hsin-Min Lee2,  Wei-Chi Chiang2 and  Ping-Chia Li2*
  • 1Division of Medical Imaging, E-Da Cancer Hospital, I-Shou University, Taiwan
  • 2I-Shou University, Taiwan

Mirror therapy (MT) facilitates motor learning and induces cortical reorganization and motor recovery from stroke. We applied the new digital mirror therapy (DMT) system to compare the cortical activation under the three visual feedback conditions: (1) no mirror visual feedback (NoMVF), (2) bilateral synchronized task-based mirror visual feedback training (BMVF), and (3) reciprocal task-based mirror visual feedback training (RMVF). During DMT, EEG recordings, including time-dependent event-related desynchronization (ERD) signal amplitude in both mu and beta bands, were obtained from the standard C3 (ispilesional hemisphere, IH), C4 (contralesional hemisphere, CH), and Cz scalp sites (supplementary motor area, SMA). The entire ERD curve was separated into three time-phases: P0 (-2 to 0 s), P1 (0 to 2 s), and P2 (2 to 4 s). Four-way and subsequent repeated-measures analyses of variance were used to examine the effects of group (stroke vs control group), test condition (NoMVF, BMVF, and RMVF), time-phase (P0, P1, and P2), and brain area (IH, CH, SMA) on the ERD areas (%) in mu and beta bands. For the mu band, generally, ERD areas (%) were larger in the control than in the stroke group. The ERD areas (%) were largest under the RMVF condition, followed by BMVF and NoMVF conditions. Similar results were found in the beta bands. The main effects of group, time-phase, and test condition on the ERD areas (%) were significant for the three brain areas, except the main effect of group in the SMA (Cz) and CH (C4) brain area. The ERD areas (%) were larger in the control than in the stroke group. The ERD area (%) was significantly larger during P1 than during P0 and P2 (ps < 0.02), and during P2 than during P0 (ps < 0.01). The ERD area (%) under the RMVF condition was significantly larger than that under the BMVF condition and NoMVF condition (ps < 0.05). The present study suggests that cortical activation particularly in the SMA (Cz) of the brain increases in the RMVF condition in both healthy subjects and stroke patients. This result supports the hypothesis that stroke patients may benefit from RMVF training.

Keywords: mirror therapy system, stroke therapy, Occupational Therapy, pattern training, Sensorimotor training

Received: 24 Apr 2019; Accepted: 04 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Chang, Lo, Chen, Lee, Chiang and Li. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Ping-Chia Li, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, 84001, Taiwan, pingchiali@gmail.com