Quantitative assessment of joint position sense recovery in subacute stroke patients: A pilot study
Jan-Christoph Kattenstroth, Tobias Kalisch, Rebecca Kowalewski, Martin Tegenthoff, Hubert R. Dinse
Neural Plasticity Lab, Institute for Neural Computation, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
Objective: To assess joint position sense performance in subacute stroke patients using a novel quantitative assessment.
Design: Proof-of-principle pilot study with a group of subacute stroke patients. Assessment at baseline and after 2 weeks of intervention. Additional data for a healthy age-matched control group.
Subjects/patients: Ten subacute stroke patients (aged 65.41 years (standard deviation 2.5), 4 females, 2.3 weeks (standard deviation 0.2)) post-stroke receiving in-patient standard rehabilitation and repetitive electrical stimulation of the affected hand.
Methods: Joint position sense was assessed based on the ability of correctly perceiving the opening angles of the finger joints. Patients had to report size differences of polystyrene balls of various sizes, whilst the balls were enclosed simultaneously by the affected and the non-affected hands. A total of 21 pairwise size comparisons was used to quantify joint position performance.
Results: After 2 weeks of therapeutic intervention a significant improvement in joint position sense performance was observed; however, the performance level was still below that of a healthy control group.
Conclusions: The results indicate high feasibility and sensitivity of the joint position test in subacute stroke patients. Testing allowed quantification of both the deficit and the rehabilitation outcome.
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