Brain Imaging and Behavior vol:8 issue:3 pages:335-45
Restoration of motor function following stroke involves reorganization of motor output through intact pathways, with compensatory brain activity likely variable by task. One class of motor tasks, those involved in self-care, is particularly important in stroke rehabilitation. Identifying the brain areas that are engaged in self-care and how they reorganize after stroke may enable development of more effective rehabilitation strategies. We piloted a paradigm for functional MRI assessment of self-care activity. In two groups, young adults and older adults, two self-care tasks (buttoning and zipping) produce activation similar to a bimanual tapping task, with bilateral activation of primary and secondary motor cortices, primary sensory cortex, and cerebellum. Quantitative differences include more activation of sensorimotor cortex and cerebellum in buttoning than bimanual tapping. Pilot subjects with stroke showed greater superior parietal activity across tasks than controls, potentially representing an increased need for sensorimotor integration to perform motor tasks.