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“Remind-to-Move” Treatment Enhanced Activation of the Primary Motor Cortex in Patients with Stroke

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“Remind-to-Move” (RTM) has been developed and used as a new treatment for rehabilitation of upper extremity functions in patients with hemiplegia. This study aimed to investigate the cortical activation patterns using functional near-infrared spectroscopic topography for patients with chronic stroke receiving RTM by comparing with their healthy counterparts. Twelve patients with right hemispheric stroke and 15 healthy adults participated in this study. All participants were instructed to completed three experimental conditions—RTM, Move without reminding (Sham), and Remind with No-move (RNoM). In patients with stroke, RTM elicited higher level of activation than the Sham in the contralateral somatosensory association cortex, primary motor cortex, primary somatosensory cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has been found in healthy participants. However, effects of RTM were robust and more widely distributed in healthy participants, comparing to patients with stroke, comparatively RNoM showed no significant higher activation than the baseline in those areas in both populations. RTM enhances the recruitment of contralateral primary motor cortex and this effect appears to be associated with increased attention allocation towards moving hands upon tactile stimulation in the form of vibration. The RTM treatment is useful to patients with stroke.

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The authors would like to thank all participants in this study. We thank the University Research Facility in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience (UBSN), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, for the facility support. We also would like to thank Bingbing Zhang and Xiangyang Ge for their assistance in data collection.


This project was funded by an internal seed fund (Grant No. ZVNX), Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, awarded to K.N.K.F.

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Correspondence to Kenneth N. K. Fong.

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Bai, Z., Fong, K.N.K. “Remind-to-Move” Treatment Enhanced Activation of the Primary Motor Cortex in Patients with Stroke. Brain Topogr (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10548-020-00756-7

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  • Stroke
  • Movements with reminder
  • Hemiparetic upper extremity
  • Primary motor cortex
  • fNIRS