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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1985 Mar;66(3):164-7.

Optokinetic nystagmus and upper extremity dressing independence after stroke.


Right hemisphere brain-damaged stroke patients demonstrate a variety of neurologic deficits which seem to impair their ability to regain self-care independence. Visual perceptual and visual search disorders have been implicated with persistent functional deficits. The objective of this study was to measure the extent to which defects of optokinetic nystagmus (OKN), an ocular movement reflex, may be associated with inability to regain independent function. Eighteen right hemisphere brain-damaged stroke patients suffering similar sensory-motor deficits were followed up from admission as they underwent self-care training in a comprehensive stroke rehabilitation center. Ten subjects demonstrated unilateral absence of OKN and eight subjects demonstrated bilaterally intact responses upon admission. Upper extremity (UE) dressing independence was used as an indicator of functional skill level at admission, during treatment, and at discharge. Subjects with unilateral loss of OKN were significantly less independent at admission and at discharge when compared to subjects with intact OKN. Although both groups of patients made statistically significant gains in UE dressing, those with defective OKN had a 40% greater inpatient length of stay and were more likely to be discharged to a nursing home or needed care by a significant other after rehabilitation.

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