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Sensory Deficits in the Unaffected Hand of Hemiparetic Stroke Patients

Brasil-Neto, Joaquim P. MD, PhD; de Lima, Ângela Cristina MS

Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology: December 2008 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 202-205
doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e3181864a24
Original Studies

Objective To evaluate sensory function in the unaffected hand of unilateral stroke patients.

Background Ipsilateral motor deficits have been described in stroke patients, but sensory function has usually been reported to be normal in the unaffected limbs.

Method Twenty-five patients (19 males, 6 females, 58.24±11.11 y old) with first-ever stroke, in the chronic phase (mean interval after stroke: 43.8±55.4 mo), who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and 25 age-matched and sex-matched healthy control subjects (19 males, 6 females, 58.60±11.32 y old) participated in the study. Ipsilateral hand sensory function was assessed with a Moving Touch-Pressure test; motor performance was evaluated by the Box and Block test and grip strength. The examiner was not blinded to the subject's neurologic status.

Results Stroke patients had a mean Moving Touch-Pressure score of 79.77%±10.74% whereas the control group had a mean score of 89.10%±8.09% (P<0.01). Mean Box and Block scores were 58.4±8.27 and 68.08±8.98, respectively (P<0.01).

Conclusions In addition to motor dysfunction, decreased sensitivity to moving tactile stimuli may contribute to clumsiness of the unaffected arm of unilateral stroke patients.

Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil

Reprints: Joaquim P. Brasil-Neto, MD, PhD, Universidade de Brasília, Laboratório de Neurociências e Comportamento, ICC-SUL, Módulo 8, Brasilia, DF, Brazil 70910-900 (e-mail:

Received for publication November 1, 2007; accepted July 9, 2008

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.