Sensory reweighting in controls and stroke patients

Abstract : OBJECTIVE: To test sensitivity to proprioceptive, vestibular and visual stimulations of stroke patients with regard to balance. METHOD: The postural control of 20 hemiparetic patients after a single hemispheric stroke that had occurred at least 6 months before the study along with 20 controls was probed with vibration, optokinetic, and vestibular galvanic stimulations. Balance was assessed using a force platform (PF) with two miniature inertial sensors placed on the head (C1) and the trunk (C2) under each sensory condition and measured by three composite scores as the mean displacement of the body (PF, C1, C2) during the stimulation. A subject with a composite score greater than the 75th percentile of the composite scores found in the control subjects was arbitrarily considered to be sensitive to that stimulation. RESULTS: Both control and stroke patients showed large inter-individual variations in response to the three types of sensory stimulation. Among the hemiparetic patients, nearly 65% were sensitive to the optokinetic stimulation, 60% to the galvanic stimulation and 65% to the vibration stimulation. In contrast to the control group, all the hemiparetic subjects were sensitive to at least one type of stimulation. CONCLUSION: Stroke patients are highly dependent on visual, proprioceptive and vestibular information in order to control their standing posture and individually differ in their relative sensitivity to each type of sensory stimulation. SIGNIFICANCE: Contrarily to what one might suppose, the increased visual dependence manifested by stroke patients does not necessarily entail any neglect of proprioceptive and vestibular information.
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Isabelle Bonan, A Marquer, Sélim Eskiizmirliler, Alain Yelnik, Pierre-Paul Vidal. Sensory reweighting in controls and stroke patients. Clinical Neurophysiology, Elsevier, 2013, 124 (4), pp.713-22. ⟨10.1016/j.clinph.2012.09.019⟩. ⟨inserm-01576412⟩

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