Sensory deficits of the paretic and non-paretic upper limbs relate with the motor recovery of the poststroke subjects

Top Stroke Rehabil. 2024 Apr;31(3):281-292. doi: 10.1080/10749357.2023.2253629. Epub 2023 Sep 10.


Background: Post stroke, motor paresis has usually been considered to be a crucial factor responsible for the disability; other impairments such as somatosensory deficits may also play a role.

Objective: To determine the relation between the sensory deficits (paretic and non-paretic upper limbs) and the motor recovery of the paretic upper limb and to predict the potential of motor recovery based on the sensory deficits among stroke subjects.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study conducted in a rehabilitation institute. Ninety-five poststroke hemiparetic subjects having sensory impairment in any of the modalities were considered for this study. Sensory deficits were assessed on both the upper limbs (paretic and non-paretic) primarily using Erasmus MC modification of the revised version of Nottingham Sensory Assessment (Em-NSA) and Nottingham Sensory Assessment (Stereognosis) (NSA-S). The motor recovery was assessed using the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA).

Results: The measures of sensory deficits exhibited weak but significant correlation [the paretic (Em-NSA and NSA; r = .38 to .58; p < .001) and the non-paretic (Em-NSA and NSA; r = .24 to .38; p = .03 to .001)] with the motor recovery of the paretic upper limb as measured by FMA. The potential of favorable recovery of the paretic upper limb may be predicted using the cutoff scores of Em-NSA (30, 21, and 24) and NSA-S (5, 8, and 5) of the paretic side.

Conclusion: In stroke, sensory deficits relate weakly with the recovery of the paretic upper limb and can predict recovery potential of the paretic upper limb.

Keywords: Cerebrovascular accident; hemiparesis; light touch; monofilament; proprioception; stereognosis; two-point discrimination.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Upper Extremity