Limits of balance recovery in hemiparetic stroke individuals during corrective inplace and stepping responses

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Bhatt, Tanvi
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Stroke is a leading cause of motor impairment leading to disability and restricted mobility. Individuals suffered as stroke have difficulty walking, low gait speeds and are unable to meet different demands like walking on all support surfaces, uneven terrain, ramps and stairs. Researchers have suggested a role of motor cortex in regulation of posture and balance, however none of the physiological studies done as yet have been able to prove a cortical influence in regulation of corrective balance reactions. Limited information is available regarding corrective (feed-back) balance responses in strokes during dynamic tasks such as walking, stepping or gait initiation. A number of studies have shown correlation between impaired standing balance and loss of walking function in the stroke subjects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the limits of corrective balance reactions in chronic stroke individuals and healthy controls to unexpected disturbances of varying magnitudes during a leg-lifting task. This task which places the subject in single limb support and reflects the single limb support phase during the task of walking. The single leg-lifting task allows one to quantify corrective inplace as well as stepping responses. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)