Content » Vol 47, Issue 6

Original report

Early post-stroke period: A privileged time for sensory re-weighting?

Isabelle V. Bonan, Florence Gaillard , Sophie Tasseel Ponche , Adelaïde Marquer, Pierre P. Vidal, Alain P. Yelnik
Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, 2 rue Henri le Guilloux, 35000 Rennes, France.
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1968


Background: Shortly after stroke, patients exhibit excessive sensitivity to visual, proprioceptive and vestibular perturbations regarding balance control.
Objective: To evaluate the stability of this perceptual behaviour after stroke and test the relationships between sensory sensitivity and balance.
Methods: Thirty subjects following a hemispheric stroke (mean age 54. 7 (standard deviation (SD) 10. 6 years), 21 men, right hemisphere lesion = 13) and 30 control subjects (mean age 52. 0 (SD 12. 0), 14 men). Sensitivity to sensory perturbations was evaluated using the displacement of the centre of pressure during tendon vibration (proprioception score), optokinetic (visual score) and galvanic perturbations (vestibular score) while standing on a force-platform a mean of 2 months after stroke, and 1 month later. Balance and independence were evaluated using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and Barthel Index (BI).
Results: Global sensitivity to perturbations decreased (p = 0. 001). Patients remained more sensitive to visual perturbation than did controls (p = 0. 033). The Vestibular Score was correlated with BBS (Rs = –0. 576, p = 0. 006), TUG (Rs = 0. 408, p = 0. 045), BI (Rs = –0. 481, p = 0. 016); the Visual Score was correlated with BBS (Rs = –0. 500, p = 0. 019), TUG (Rs = 0. 401, p = 0. 049).
Conclusion: The initial months following stroke appear to be a period of individual perceptual motor adaptation. Sensory re-weighting is likely to be a major component of that process.

Lay Abstract


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