Neuroscience International

Motor Imagery and Stroke Neurorehabilitation: An Overview of Basic Concepts and Therapeutic Effects

Amanda Lopes Abbas, Marina Fortuna Lucas, Silmar Teixeira, Flavia Paes, Bruna Velasques, Pedro Ribeiro, Antonio E. Nardi and Sergio Machado

DOI : 10.3844/amjnsp.2011.59.64

Neuroscience International

Volume 2, 2011

Pages 59-64

Abstract

Problem statement: Motor Imagery (MI), which corresponds to an active process during which the representation of a specific action is internally reproduced into working memory without any motor output. It represents the result of conscious access to the content of a movement intention, which is usually performed unconsciously during movement preparation. Approach: This review study aims to provide information on the current research and main findings related to the potential therapeutic effects of motor imagery on stroke neurorehabilitation. Results: Several studies demonstrate that conscious motor imagery and unconscious motor preparation share common mechanisms and are functionally equivalent, improving recovery of motor skills in stroke patients. Conclusion: In conclusion, motor imagery, proved very useful and effective, with significant results in improvement of motor deficits in post stroke patients. Thus, it is recommended that further studies must be conducted to determine specific parameters such as number and weekly frequency, duration (minutes per session), type (visual or kinesthetic) and the appropriate moment to apply mental practice (phases recovery of pathology), in order to create specific protocols for each treatment phase.

Copyright

© 2011 Amanda Lopes Abbas, Marina Fortuna Lucas, Silmar Teixeira, Flavia Paes, Bruna Velasques, Pedro Ribeiro, Antonio E. Nardi and Sergio Machado. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.