The Effect of Distal Afferent Input on the Spasticity and Motor Control of the Post Stroke Upper Extremity
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Schmit, Brian D.
The impetus for this dissertation developed from a desire to quantify and better understand the effects of some common therapeutic interventions on the spasticity, strength, and motor control of the upper extremity following stroke. The three aims of this dissertation are addressed in separate experiments contained in chapters 2-5. While these chapters focus on a common theme, they are written to be published as separate works. Chapter I provides a review of the pertinent literature to highlight such concepts as the pathophysiology of stroke, common therapeutic interventions for the arm post-stroke, and specifically the role of electrical stimulation and Botulinum Toxin (Botox) in the treatment of stroke. Emphasis is given to the research that directly correlates to the current study in regard to experimental design, data analysis, and clinical applicability. The four experimental chapters (2-5) address the following aims: Aim I - Establish the test-retest reliability of our biomechanical methods of testing the strength, spasticity, and motor control of the stroke arm. Aim 2 - Examine the effect of sensory level electrical stimulation at the wrist on the spasticity, strength, and motor control of the stroke arm. Aim 3 -Examine the effect of Botox injection into the distalflexors of the wrist and fingers on the spasticity, strength, and motor control of the stroke arm. Chapter 6 serves to summarize the main results and provide suggestions for future studies that could further pursue these aims.