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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Deficit of Motor Skill Acquisition on the Upper Limb Ipsilesional to the Injured Hemisphere in Individuals with Stroke

Yonghyun Kwon, Ju Yong Shin, Sung Min Son

Department of Physical Therapy, Yeungnam University College, Daegu, South Korea

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:5062-5067

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.916484

Available online:

Published: 2019-07-08

BACKGROUND: Movement deficits in limbs ipsilesional to the damaged hemisphere in individuals with stroke have been established through various motor tasks. Nevertheless, there has been little evidence regarding hindrance of motor skill acquisition on the ipsilesional limb in patients with stroke. Therefore, we attempted to demonstrate whether the characteristics of ipsilesional deficits involved motor learning insufficiency in stroke survivors with unilateral brain damage.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty-six participants (18 patients with stroke and 18 normal individuals) were recruited. Patients with stroke performed a visuo-spatial tracking task in the upper limb ipsilesional to the injured hemisphere, and normal participants did the same task with the upper limb matched for the same side. The participants were required to track a target sine wave as accurately as possible while the wave was displayed on the computer screen for 15 seconds. An accuracy index was calculated for each of the trials.
RESULTS: We found that motor skill learning improved in both stroke and normal groups with repetitive practice. However, the normal group exhibited greater motor skill acquisition than in comparison the stroke group for motor skill improvement. Statistical analyses revealed significant differences in time effects and time x group interactions.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that individuals with stroke might have difficulty in performing visuo-spatial movements and acquiring motor skills with the ipsilateral upper limb. Improvement of ipsilesional limb function increases self-care activity in daily life. Therefore, we recommend that clinicians adopt remedial strategies for ipsilesional limbs.

Keywords: Learning Disorders, Motor Skills Disorders, Task Performance and Analysis