New research has suggested that relying on the better functioning side of the body following a stroke can limit the recovery of the impaired side.
Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the animal study investigated the effects of relying on the 'good' side of the body after strokes that occur in one brain hemisphere and cause motor function issues on the opposite side of the body.
The team carried out their research using rats, with the damage affecting their front limbs. One group was trained to use the unaffected front leg to compensate for the loss of control in the other, while the second group did not.
Both groups then received rehabilitative training for the injured limb. It was discovered that the group that had been encouraged to use their 'good' leg had less brain area dedicated to the control of the impaired leg.
The team concluded that relying on unaffected areas of the body may harm the recovery of impaired areas following a stroke.
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