Impact of internal capsule lesions on outcome of motor hand function at one year post-stroke

Schiemanck S, Kwakkel G, Post M, Kappelle J, Prevo A,

This study aimed to investigate the association between damage to different levels of the cortico-fugal tract and long term hand motor recovery. Hand motor function was assessed in 75 stroke patients using the Fugl Meyer Motor Assessment Scale at 1 year post stroke.  Assessment of the cortico-fugal tract was achieved using MRI imaging.

Involvement of all 3 layers of the cortico-fugal tract and partial involvement of the internal capsule were associated with poor recovery of hand function.  This study recommends that as hand function is important for regaining a functional upper limb, these patients need to be identified early post stroke.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2008, 40(2), 96-101

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