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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2003 Dec;17(4):207-13.

Standing balance and functional recovery of patients with right and left hemiparesis in the early stages of rehabilitation.

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Physical Therapy Department, Eshkol Building, Room 910, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel 31905.


The objective was to determine the effects of the side of brain lesion on recovery of functional abilities and balance control among subjects 2 months following a stroke. There were 104 patients admitted consecutively to a geriatric rehabilitation center following their first stroke to the anterior brain circulation who were followed for 2 months. Fifteen age-matched individuals with no known impairments served as the control group. Functional ability was assessed with the Barthel Index and the Functional Ambulation Category. Posturographic testing was used to determine total sway and symmetry of weight distribution with eyes open and closed. Tests were performed 1 and 2 months poststroke. The results show that lesion side affects the recovery of independent stance 2 months following a stroke, with more patients with right hemiparesis able to reach this milestone. However, no difference was found in functional ability and balance control between patients with left and right hemiparesis who are able to stand independently by 1 month poststroke. Function and mobility improve during the 2nd month of rehabilitation (P = 0.001), but stance unsteadiness and asymmetry do not. The side of brain lesion seems to affect recovery of independent stance with an advantage to patients with right hemiparesis. However, there is no difference between balance control of individuals with left versus right hemiparesis in patients who reach independent stance by the end of the 1st month following their stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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