The role of noninvasive techniques in stroke therapy.
Noninvasive techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have provided insight into understanding how neural connections are altered in consequence to cerebrovascular injury. The first part of this review will briefly survey some of the methodological issues and limitations related to noninvasive poststroke motor recovery studies. The second section will investigate some of the different neural mechanisms that underlie neurorehabilitation in stroke patients. The third part will explore our current understanding of motor memory processing, describe the neural structures that subserve motor memory consolidation, and discuss the current literature related to memory reconsolidation in healthy adults. Lastly, this paper will suggest the potential therapeutic applications of integrating noninvasive tools with memory consolidation and reconsolidation theories to enhance motor recovery. The overall objective of this work is to demonstrate how noninvasive technologies have been utilized in the multidisciplinary field of clinical behavioral neuroscience and to highlight their potential to be employed as clinical tools to promote individualized motor recovery in stroke patients.