Early testing can predict the stroke patients who will develop upper limb spasticity

September 23, 2015

Many stroke patients suffer from spasticity of the arm that cause pain and impaired sensorimotor function. But there are ways of identifying such patients ahead of time so that they can obtain the earliest possible treatment. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy have completed a study of stroke patients in the Gothenburg area.

Spasticity and related complications are relatively common after stroke, leading to poorer joint range of motion, greater pain and less sensitivity in the arm one year later.

A study at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, has found that the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale, a sensorimotor test performed during the first month after stroke, predicts with a fairly high degree of accuracy the patients who will develop spasticity within one year.

Poor sensorimotor function

A total of 117 Gothenburg area patients with an average age of 67 participated in the study. All of them had experienced poorer sensorimotor function in the arm three days after first-ever stroke. Upper limb sensorimotor function, spasticity and joint range of motion were monitored over the following year.

Arve Opheim, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy, says, "Our findings suggest that systematic examinations of sensorimotor function can identify patients at risk of developing spasticity so that they can obtain early treatment. Opportunities for minimizing pain, impaired function and other repercussions of spasticity will inevitably follow."

The article Early Prediction of Long-term Upper Limb Spasticity after Stroke: Part of the SALGOT Study was published in Neurology on August 14.

A few facts about spasticity

Spasticity refers to a motor disorder caused by damage to the central nervous system. The spasms, which may arise following a stroke, have the potential to occasion as well. Anywhere from 40% to 50% of develop spasticity.

Explore further: Clinicians should pay attention to stroke patients who cannot walk at 3-6 month after onset

More information: www.neurology.org/content/earl … 001908.full.pdf+html

Related Stories

Clinicians should pay attention to stroke patients who cannot walk at 3-6 month after onset

July 11, 2013
Gait dysfunction is one of the most serious disabling sequelae of stroke. Regaining gait ability in stroke is a primary goal of neurorehabilitation. Furthermore, gait is a less demanding motor function than hand function.

Smoked cannabis can help relieve muscle tightness and pain in people with multiple sclerosis

May 14, 2012
People with multiple sclerosis may find that smoked cannabis provides relief from muscle tightness — spasticity — and pain, although the benefits come with adverse cognitive effects, according to a new study published ...

Spouses of stroke survivors face lingering health issues

August 20, 2015
Caregiver spouses of stroke survivors are at an increased risk of mental and physical health issues that may continue for years, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Compensatory rehabilitation limits motor recovery after stroke

June 2, 2015
Relying on the better-functioning side of the body after a stroke can cause brain changes that hinder rehabilitation of the impaired side, according to an animal study published June 3 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Don't let botox go to your head…or should you?

January 8, 2013
Injecting botox into the arm muscles of stroke survivors, with severe spasticity, changes electrical activity in the brain and may assist with longer-term recovery, according to new research.

Recommended for you

Running on autopilot: Scientists find important new role for 'daydreaming' network

October 23, 2017
A brain network previously associated with daydreaming has been found to play an important role in allowing us to perform tasks on autopilot. Scientists at the University of Cambridge showed that far from being just 'background ...

Rhythm of memory: Inhibited neurons set the tempo for memory processes

October 23, 2017
The more we know about the billions of nerve cells in the brain, the less their interaction appears spontaneous and random. The harmony underlying the processing of memory contents has been revealed by Prof. Dr. Marlene Bartos' ...

Researchers demonstrate 'mind-reading' brain-decoding tech

October 23, 2017
Researchers have demonstrated how to decode what the human brain is seeing by using artificial intelligence to interpret fMRI scans from people watching videos, representing a sort of mind-reading technology.

Research revises our knowledge of how the brain learns to fear

October 23, 2017
Our brains wire themselves up during development according to a series of remarkable genetic programs that have evolved over millions of years. But so much of our behavior is the product of things we learn only after we emerge ...

Scientists use supercomputer to search for "memory molecules"

October 23, 2017
Until now, searching for genes related to memory capacity has been comparable to seeking out the proverbial "needle in a haystack." Scientists at the University of Basel made use of the CSCS supercomputer Piz Daint to discover ...

High-speed locomotion neurons found in the brainstem

October 23, 2017
Think of taking a casual stroll on a sunny Sunday afternoon or running at full speed to catch a bus for work on Monday morning as two extremes. Both forms of locomotion entail a perfect interplay between arms and legs, yet ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.