de Bode S, Fritz SL, Weir-Haynes K, Mathern GW
The aims of this case series were: (1) to evaluate the feasibility of this therapeutic approach involving a shortened version of CIMT, (2) to examine improvements that occurred within the upper extremity of the hemiparetic side, (3) to investigate the feasibility of conducting brain imaging in individuals with depressed mental ages, and (4) to examine changes in the sensorimotor cortex following intervention. The patients received a shortened version of CIMT for 3 hours each day for a period of 10 days. In addition, a standard resting splint was used for the unimpaired hand for an 11-day period. Each patient was encouraged to wear the splint for 90% of his or her waking hours. Immediately after therapy, improvements were found in AAUT and BBT scores, but no improvements were found in FM scores. Three patients underwent brain imaging before and after therapy and showed qualitative changes consistent with reorganization of sensorimotor cortical representations of both paretic and nonparetic hands in one isolated hemisphere.
The findings of this study suggest that CIMT may be a feasible method of rehabilitation in individuals with chronic hemiparesis, possibly leading to neuroplastic therapy-related changes in the brain.
Physical Therapy, 2009 Feb 26, online article ahead of print