Brain rhythms in the acute stroke patient during movement imagery and execution

Project description

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in adult patients and resulting hemiparesis of the arm causes the greatest form of functional impairment in these patients. During stroke rehabilitation therapy focuses on physical exercise of the affected limbs. However, several studies have shown that including movement imagery therapy in the rehabilitation process can have a positive effect on the outcome of rehabilitation after stroke. These results were found in chronic stroke patients.

However, since the acute stroke patient is most likely to experience the benefits of this extra therapy, this study focuses on the EEG rhythms of acute stroke patients during movement imagery and movement execution. These brain rhythms will be measured in a longitudinal study where the patient will undergo four EEG measurements at one week, one month, two months and four months after stroke. We will try to find a correlation between these results and standard test that show the success of rehabilitation, like the NIHSS and Fugl-Meyer assessment. Furthermore, the results will be compared to a healthy age-matched control group. This will give as a clue whether movement imagery therapy can be a useful addition to traditional rehabilitation for the acute stroke patient.

Another part of this project is to make rehabilitation more successful and more fun by creating a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) based on movement imagery. Several software packages will be tested and the best one will be selected to create this BCI. It’s will then be tested on a group of healthy volunteers and eventually also on several stroke patients to see whether the acute stroke patient is able to control a BCI by movement imagery.

This graduation project is part of the PHD project of Chayanin Tangwiriyasakul from the BSS and CNPH group.


Rens Verhagen


Prof. Dr. Ir. M.J.A.M. van Putten (Medisch Spectrum Twente and University of Twente)

Dr. Ir. T. Heida (University of Twente)

Ir. C. Tangwiriyasakul (University of Twente)