Journal of Taiwan Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Objective: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been increasingly used by studies investigated motor function in stroke patients. It can provide evidence of cortical plasticity and show actual effects of clinical intervention. The purpose of this review is to summarize common methods of image and functional connectivity analysis in fMRI in recent studies to enhance further understanding of the information able to be obtained from fMRI and possible application of fMRI in stroke patients. Methods: Two databases were searched for articles investigating cortical reorganization by functional MR imaging with grasping task from 2001 to 2011. Inclusion criteria were: using fMRI as an evaluating tool; including image processing and functional connectivity analysis; and including grasping task. Results: The use of structural equation modeling (SEM)and dynamic causal modeling (DCM)was increased in recent studies, indicating increasing attention to analysis of functional connectivity. Conclusion: Analyzing functional connectivity could enhance the understanding of the recovery mechanism after stroke and assists therapists to determine optimal therapy for each patient. Hopefully, the effectiveness of the therapy could be increased and the duration of rehabilitation could be shortened.