Upper limb recovery and neuroplasticity after stroke

Key Contact: Kathryn Collins

Email: Kathryn.collins@uea.ac.uk

Forty percent of stroke survivors have difficulty using their arm which can lead to decreased independence with activities such as dressing and eating.  There is an urgent need to improve rehabilitation.  There are two parts to my PhD.  First, I will summarise through a systematic review the findings of studies of differences in movement kinematics between healthy adults and stroke survivors when reaching to grasp an object.

Second, I will investigate the reliability of using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation.  Transcranial magnetic stimulation can be used to measure how well the brain is connected to the weak arm muscles.  Reliability is the stability or consistency of a measure over multiple tests.

Together the results will inform clinical rehabilitation by increasing the understanding of the movement deficits that underlie difficulty with everyday activities and provide a neurophysiological measure of the reduction in movement deficits in response to rehabilitation.