Differences between flexion and extension synergy-driven coupling at the elbow, wrist, and fingers of individuals with chronic hemiparetic stroke

Laura Miller McPherson, Julius P.A. Dewald*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The flexion and extension synergies were quantified at the paretic elbow, forearm, wrist, and finger joints within the same group of participants for the first time. Differences in synergy expression at each of the four joints were examined, as were the ways these differences varied across the joints. Methods: Twelve post-stroke individuals with chronic moderate-to-severe hemiparesis and six age-matched controls participated. Participants generated isometric shoulder abduction (SABD) and shoulder adduction (SADD) at four submaximal levels to progressively elicit the flexion and extension synergies, respectively. Isometric joint torques and EMG were recorded from shoulder, elbow, forearm (radio-ulnar), wrist, and finger joints and muscles. Results: SABD elicited strong wrist and finger flexion torque that increased with shoulder torque level. SADD produced primarily wrist and finger flexion torque, but magnitudes at the wrist were less than during SABD. Findings contrasted with those at the elbow and forearm, where torques and EMG generated due to SABD and SADD were opposite in direction. Conclusions: Flexion and extension synergy expression are more similar at the hand than at the shoulder and elbow. Specific bulbospinal pathways that may underlie flexion and extension synergy expression are discussed. Significance: Whole-limb behavior must be considered when examining paretic hand function in moderately-to-severely impaired individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-468
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Volume130
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Bulbospinal
  • Extension synergy
  • Flexion synergy
  • Hand
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reticulospinal
  • Stroke
  • Upper extremity
  • Vestibulospinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Differences between flexion and extension synergy-driven coupling at the elbow, wrist, and fingers of individuals with chronic hemiparetic stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this