University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

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New Study Charts Exercise for Stroke Patients’ Brains

Jun 12, 2013, by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), in General News

A new study, co-authored by Assistant Professor Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, has found that stroke patients’ brains show strong cortical motor activity when observing others performing physical tasks — a finding that offers new insight into stroke rehabilitation.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a team of researchers from USC monitored the brains of 24 individuals — 12 who had suffered strokes and 12 age-matched people who had not — as they watched others performing actions made using the arm and hand that would be difficult for a person who can no longer use their arm due to stroke — actions such as lifting a pencil or flipping a card.

The researchers found that while the typical brain responded to the visual stimulus with activity in cortical motor regions that are generally activated when we watch others perform actions, in the stroke-affected brain, activity was strongest in these regions of the damaged hemisphere and strongest when stroke patients viewed actions they would have the most difficulty performing.

Read more about USC study charts exercise for stroke patients’ brains.

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USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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The USC entry-level master's degree program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE). ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, (301) 652-6611 x2914, acoteonline.org

Professional program graduates are eligible to apply for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.® www.nbcot.org

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