Mental Practice Combined with Motor Rehabilitation to Treat Upper Limb Hemiparesis of Post-Stroke Patients: Clinical and Experimental Evidence

Sergio Machado1, 2, *, Eduardo Lattari1, 2, Flávia Paes1, Nuno B.F. Rocha3, Antonio E. Nardi1, Oscar Arias-Carrión4, Gioia Mura5, Ti-Fei Yuan6, Mauro G. Carta5, Carlos Campos1
1 Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Physical Activity Neuroscience Laboratory, Physical Activity Sciences Postgraduate Program, Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil
3 Polytechnic Institute of Porto, School of Allied Health Sciences, Portugal
4 Unidad de Trastornos de Movimiento y Sueño, Hospital General Dr. Manuel Gea Gonzalez, Secretaria de Salud México DF, México
5 Department of Public Health, Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Italy
6 School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University Nanjing, China

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© Machado et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Tel: +5521991567006; Fax: +552135187880; E-mail:


Stroke is one of the major causes of disability in the world. Due to the extended lifetime of the world's population, the number of people affected by stroke has increased substantially over the last years. Stroke may lead to sensorimotor deficits, usually causing hemiplegia or hemiparesia. In order to reduce motor deficits and accelerate functional recovery, MP combined with motor rehabilitation was introduced to the rehabilitation process of post-stroke patients. Evidence has shown that MP combining with motor rehabilitation based on activities of daily living was more effective than conventional motor rehabilitation used per se. This combination proved very useful and effective, with significant results in improvement of motor deficits in post-stroke patients. However, further studies must be conducted to determine specific parameters, such as type of imagery, frequency or duration.

Keywords: Hemiparesis, kinesthetic imagery, mental practice, stroke, visual imagery.