A Phenomenon of Self-support Exercise in Severe Stroke Patients

F. Alnajjar, S. Shimoda, Alistair A. Vogan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Unilateral arm paralysis is a common outcome of stroke and can have a devastating impact on its victims. In this study, we attempt to determine the impact of recruiting a post-stroke patient’s contralesional nervous system with the aim to reactivate the ipsilesional neural circuits and, ultimately, stimulate functional motor recovery. We establish such a phenomenon to be possible when a patient utilizes a non-paretic arm to support the movement/training of the paretic arm. In 10 subacute severe post-stroke patients, it was observed that a self-support exercise (SSE)—defined here as the self-guided biomechanical support provided by a non-paretic arm—unexpectedly triggered muscle activities in the supported paretic arm similar in intensity to the healthy activities of the non-paretic limb. Additionally, bilateral normalization of neural activation in the sensorimotor cortex between the stroke-affected and unaffected hemispheres during SSE was discovered during brain imaging. This strongly suggests the facilitation of interhemispheric communication in post-stroke motor recovery. We propose this finding may lead to a new era of available rehabilitation techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiosystems and Biorobotics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameBiosystems and Biorobotics
ISSN (Print)2195-3562
ISSN (Electronic)2195-3570


  • Biological control system
  • Brain activities
  • Muscle synergy
  • Muscles
  • Post-stroke rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'A Phenomenon of Self-support Exercise in Severe Stroke Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this