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NeuroRehabilitation. 1997;9(1):57-69. doi: 10.3233/NRE-1997-9106.

Sensory-motor control in the ipsilesional upper extremity after stroke.

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Department of Physical Therapy Education and Center on Aging, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160-7601, USA.
Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


There is substantial evidence to indicate that sensory-motor control of the ipsilesional upper extremity (UE) in adults after unilateral stroke is abnormal. Some of the sensory-motor deficits differ as a function of the side of the cerebral lesion. Rapid movements of the ipsilesional UE that require precise timing and sequencing are more affected in individuals with lesions in the left hemisphere. In contrast, ipsilesional movements that have constrained spatial requirements are more affected in those with lesions in the right hemisphere. Ipsilesional UE coordination of discrete tasks may be normal, but the coordination of continuous tasks is affected in adults with left stroke. Sensation in the ipsilesional UE appears to be unaffected, or minimally affected after stroke. Strength deficits have been demonstrated in the ipsilesional UE, but primarily in those with right sided lesions. Ipsilesional performance deficits are revealed in clinical tests of function that use time to completion as the measure of success. Ipsilesional performance deficits may reflect motor control deficits that are masked on the contralateral side by hemiplegia and hemisensory loss. Interventions that focus on specific motor control deficits, such as speed of sensory-motor processing, through practice with the ipsilesional UE, may result in functional improvements in both limbs.


Motor control; Rehabilitation; Stroke


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