Examining the influence of PAS-induced LTP delivered over the visual cortex and cerebellum on motor performance and functional connectivity post stroke.
Learning a motor task is dependent on many cortical regions. As a skill is learned, changes take place within the circuitry of the brain to optimize efficiency of the movement execution. Following stroke, motor deficits in the upper extremity are common, emphasizing the need for intact skill learning to reacquire motor function. Advancements in rehabilitation techniques are needed to optimize recovery; cortical stimulation may serve to augment recovery when combined with behavioural intervention. The cerebellum, which stores and adapts motor programs, and the visual cortex, which transfers visual information to guide movement are potential target regions for such stimulation. Stimulation, in concert with motor cortex stimulation, provides a novel technique to potentially improve the integration of sensory information to improve motor performance. The current project will investigate whether, as we hypothesize, the influence of stimulation in individuals with stroke will positively change the brain and lead to functional improvement.