Mapping individual brains to guide restorative therapy after stroke: Rationale and pilot studies

Steven C. Cramer, Randall R. Benson, Vijaya C. Burrat, David Himes, Kit R. Crafton, Jeri S. Janowsky, Jeffrey A. Brown, Helmi L. Lutsep

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Some treatments under development to improve motor outcome after stroke require information about organization of individual subject's brain. The current study aimed to characterize normal inter-subject differences in localization of motor functions, and to consider these findings in relation to a potential treatment of motor deficits after stroke. Functional MRI (fMRI) scanning in 14 subjects examined right index finger tapping, shoulder rotation, or facial movement. The largest activation cluster in left sensorimotor cortex was identified for each task, and its center expressed in Talairach stereotaxic coordinates. Across subjects, each task showed considerable variability in activation site coordinates. For example, during finger tapping, the range for center of activation was 7 mm in the x-axis, 19 mm in the y-axis, and 11 mm in the z-axis. The mean value for center of activation was significantly different for all three coordinates for all pairwise task comparisons. However, the distribution of activation site centers for the finger task overlapped with the other two tasks in the x- and y-axes, and with the shoulder task in the z-axis. On average, the center of activation for the three motor tasks were spatially separated and somatotopically distributed. However, across the population, there was considerable overlap in the center of activation site, especially for finger and shoulder movements. Restorative therapies that aim to target specific body segments, such as the hand, in the post-stroke motor system may need to map the individual brain rather than rely on population averages. Initial details are presented of a study using this approach to evaluate such a therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-814
Number of pages4
JournalNeurological Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Functional MRI
  • Motor cortex
  • Plasticity
  • Somatotopy
  • Stroke
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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