Elbow movement during voluntary positioning of the hand (with the arm supported against gravity) is described in a longitudinal study of five patients recovering from hemiplegia due to stroke. Over a twelve month period, four of the patients improved their speed of movement, three exhibiting slightly better recovery of elbow extension, one of flexion. In some instances co-contraction of the elbow agonist and antagonist (measured just before the onset of movement) decreased with time after stroke. The effects of contrasting movements at the shoulder on elbow movement were also studied. Estimates of recovery were generally similar whether patients kept the shoulder still or made movements that were synergic or counter-synergic to those of the elbow.
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