Functional MRI evaluation of hyperbaric oxygen therapy effect on hand motor recovery in a chronic post-stroke patient: a case report and physiological discussion

Merav Catalogna, Amir Hadanny, Yoav Parag, Moran Adler, Vicktoria Elkarif, Shai Efrati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Impairments in activities of daily living (ADL) are a major concern in post-stroke rehabilitation. Upper-limb motor impairments, specifically, have been correlated with low quality of life. In the current case report, we used both task-based and resting state functional MRI (fMRI) tools to investigate the neural response mechanisms and functional reorganization underlying hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)-induced motor rehabilitation in a chronic post-stroke patient suffering from severe upper-limb motor impairment. Methods: We studied motor task fMRI activation and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in a 61-year-old right-handed male patient who suffered hemiparesis and physical weakness in the right upper limb, 2 years after his acute insult, pre- and post-treatment of 60 daily HBOT sessions. Motor functions were assessed at baseline and at the end of the treatment using the Fugl–Meyer assessment (FMA) and the handgrip maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). Results: Following HBOT, the FMA score improved from 17 (severe impairment) to 31 (moderate impairment). Following the intervention during trials involving the affected hand, there was an observed increase in fMRI activation in both the supplementary motor cortex (SMA) and the premotor cortex (PMA) bilaterally. The lateralization index (LI) decreased from 1 to 0.63, demonstrating the recruitment of the contralesional hemisphere. The region of interest, ROI-to-ROI, analysis revealed increased post-intervention inter-hemispheric connectivity (P = 0.002) and a between-network connectivity increase (z-score: 0.35 ± 0.21 to 0.41 ± 0.21, P < 0.0001). Seed-to-voxel-based rsFC analysis using the right SMA as seed showed increased connectivity to the left posterior parietal cortex, the left primary somatosensory cortex, and the premotor cortex. Conclusion: This study provides additional insights into HBOT-induced brain plasticity and functional improvement in chronic post-stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1233841
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Catalogna, Hadanny, Parag, Adler, Elkarif and Efrati.


  • HBOT
  • brain connectivity
  • fMRI
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke
  • upper extremity


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional MRI evaluation of hyperbaric oxygen therapy effect on hand motor recovery in a chronic post-stroke patient: a case report and physiological discussion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this