Proprioceptive deficits are common after stroke and have been associated with poorer recovery. Relatively little is known about the brain regions beyond primary somatosensory cortex that contribute to the percept of proprioception in humans. We examined a large sample (n = 153) of stroke survivors longitudinally to determine which brain regions were associated with persistent post-stroke proprioceptive deficits. A robotic exoskeleton quantified two components of proprioception, position sense and kinesthesia (movement sense), at 2 weeks and again at 6 months post-stroke. A statistical region of interest (sROI) analysis compared the lesion-behaviour relationships of those subjects with cortical and subcortical stroke (n = 136). The impact of damage to brainstem and cerebellum (n = 17) was examined separately. Results indicate that damage to the supramarginal gyrus, the arcuate fasciculus, and Heschl's gyrus are associated with deficits in position sense and kinesthesia at 6 months post-stroke. These results suggest that regions beyond the primary somatosensory cortex contribute to our sense of limb position and movement. This information extends our understanding of proprioceptive processing and may inform personalized interventions such as non-invasive brain stimulation where specific brain regions can be targeted to potentially improve stroke recovery.
Keywords: Lesion analysis; Proprioception; Robotic assessment; Stroke; Upper extremity.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.