Rehabilitation of sensorimotor integration deficits in balance impairment of patients with stroke hemiparesis: a before/after pilot study

Neurol Sci. 2008 Oct;29(5):313-9. doi: 10.1007/s10072-008-0988-0. Epub 2008 Oct 21.


Balance impairment in patients with stroke hemiparesis is frequently related to deficits of central integration of afferent inputs (somatosensory, visual, vestibular). Our aim was to evaluate whether balance exercises performed under various sensory input manipulations can improve postural stability and/or walking ability in patients with stroke. Seven chronic hemiparetic subjects were recruited. Patient performance was assessed before, immediately after and one week after treatment (consisting of 20 one-hour daily sessions of several balance exercises) by means of the Sensory Organization Balance Test and the Ten Metre Walking Test. Before treatment, all patients showed balance impairment with difficulty integrating somatosensory information from the lower extremities and excessive reliance upon visual input in standing balance control. After treatment, balance and walking speed significantly increased and this improvement was maintained for one week. These findings indicate that rehabilitation of sensorimotor integration deficits can improve balance in patients with stroke hemiparesis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paresis / complications*
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture*
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Sensation Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke Rehabilitation