Background: Since cerebral palsy (CP) is a corollary to brain damage, persistent treatment should accompany an alteration in brain functional activity in line with clinical improvements. In this regard, the corpus callosum (CC), as a connecting bridge between the two hemispheres, plays an essential role.
Objective: This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic effects of occupational therapy (OT) on CC functional activity and walking capacity in children with cerebral palsy.
Material and Methods: In this clinical trial study, 4 children with CP (8.25 ± 1.71 years) received 45 min OT sessions 3 times weekly for 8 weeks. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was acquired while conducting passive motor tasks to quantify CC activation. The pre-post activation changes in CC following therapy were quantified in terms of activated voxels. Walking capacity was evaluated using the timed-up-and-go (TUG), 6-minute walk test (6 MWT), and 10-meter walk test (10 MWT) in pre-and post-treatment.
Results: The number of activated voxels in CC indicated significant improvement in participants. Post-treatment activated voxels substantially exceeded pre-treatment active voxels. Clinical measures, including TUG, 6 MWT, and 10 MWT are improved by 11.9%, 12.6%, and 25.4%, respectively.
Conclusion: Passive task-based fMRI can detect the effects of OT on CC functional activity in children with CP. According to the results, OT improves CC functional activity in addition to gait and balance performance.