OBJECTIVE: To assess the motor function of the left, supposedly unaffected, limbs of patients with an acute right vascular hemiplegia. METHODS: Fifteen patients with an acute vascular right hemiplegia and 16 matched healthy controls were studied. Motor function of the left limbs of each patient was evaluated on days 20 and 90 after their stroke using four validated tools (hand dynamometer, isokinetic dynamometer, finger tapping, and nine hole peg test). RESULTS: There was a significant impairment of motor function of the left limbs of patients at day 20 compared with controls. The impairment had recovered almost completely at day 90 after the stroke. CONCLUSION: These results show the bilateral cerebral representation of the human motor system and suggest the participation of ipsilateral motor pathways in recovery after a stroke.
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