[ARTICLE] Force control in chronic stroke

Highlights

  • Post stroke motor impairments involving force control capabilities are devastating.
  • Bimanual motor synergies provide robust data on coordinating forces between hands.
  • Low-force frequency patterns reveal fine motor control strategies in paretic hands.
  • Analyzing both novel approaches advance understanding of post stroke force control.

Abstract

Force control deficits are common dysfunctions after a stroke. This review concentrates on various force control variables associated with motor impairments and suggests new approaches to quantifying force control production and modulation. Moreover, related neurophysiological mechanisms were addressed to determine variables that affect force control capabilities. Typically, post stroke force control impairments include:

(a) decreased force magnitude and asymmetrical forces between hands,

(b) higher task error,

(c) greater force variability,

(d) increased force regularity, and

(e) greater time-lag between muscular forces.

Recent advances in force control analyses post stroke indicated less bimanual motor synergies and impaired low-force frequency structure.Brain imaging studies demonstrate possible neurophysiological mechanisms underlying force control impairments:

(a) decreased activation in motor areas of the ipsilesional hemisphere,

(b) increased activation in secondary motor areas between hemispheres,

(c) cerebellum involvement absence, and

(d) relatively greater interhemispheric inhibition from the contralesional hemisphere.

Consistent with identifying neurophysiological mechanisms, analyzing bimanual motor synergies as well as low-force frequency structure will advance our understanding of post stroke force control.

via Force control in chronic stroke.

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