RATIONALE: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of central nervous system and it is associated with an impaired motor function status. The efficacy of rehabilitation in promoting functional recovery and increasing quality of life in MS patients has been demonstrated. PATIENT CONCERNS: A 47-year-old woman was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in November 2014 because of left upper limb hypoesthesia and weakness with difficulty in hand manipulation skills (there was a 1-point Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) progression, i.e., 2.5 vs 1.5). Magnetic resonance image (MRI) showed a new frontal right cortical high-signal-intensity lesion. DIAGNOSIS: Neurological and MRI examination were suggestive of MS diagnosis. INTERVENTIONS: Patient was treated with robotic rehabilitation and evaluated by a Glove Analyzer for fMRI system (GAF). Functional MRI (fMRI) was acquired before and at the end of rehabilitative treatment performed with robotic device (Armeo-power). OUTCOMES: At the end of the rehabilitation program, most of the behavioral parameters, GAF and fMRI evaluation, showed a significative improvement. Moreover, fMRI showed a significantly increased functional activation within the sensory-motor network in the active, motor task. LESSONS: Our findings suggest a possible restorative effect of robotics on brain networks. Moreover, we may argue that GAF may be a valuable tool in assessing functional recovery after upper limb rehabilitation, especially of associated to fMRI examination.
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