Motor Recovery After Early Brain Damage A Case of Brain Plasticity

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Abstract

Background

Motor recovery is remarkable when the brain is damaged early in life. We describe a case of early damage to the right hemisphere with remarkable reorganization and plastic functional changes, studied by computed neuroimaging.

Case Description

A 31-year-old man had a left-sided hemiplegia at the age of 12, followed by good motor recovery despite a large right cortical-subcortical lesion. Single-photon emission computed tomography with motor activation study showed cerebral blood flow increase in the left premotor and sensorimotor cortices irrespective of the hand he was moving, without flow changes in the right hemisphere.

Conclusions

A remarkable reorganization and plastic brain functional changes occurred in a patient after early diffuse damage of the right hemisphere. The study points to a potential role of ipsilateral cortical efferent pathways in subserving hand movements after early cerebral damage. (Stroke. 1994;25:514-517.)

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