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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 636123, 8 pages
Research Article

Kinematic Analysis of the Upper Limb Motor Strategies in Stroke Patients as a Tool towards Advanced Neurorehabilitation Strategies: A Preliminary Study

1Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, SM Provvidenza Movement Laboratory, 00166 Rome, Italy
2Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation IRCCS, Biomedical Technology Department, 20148 Milan, Italy
3Institute of Neurology of Catholic University, 00168 Rome, Italy

Received 17 January 2014; Revised 25 March 2014; Accepted 27 March 2014; Published 24 April 2014

Academic Editor: Giovanni Morone

Copyright © 2014 Irene Aprile et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Advanced rehabilitation strategies of the upper limb in stroke patients focus on the recovery of the most important daily activities. In this study we analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively the motor strategies employed by stroke patients when reaching and drinking from a glass. We enrolled 6 hemiparetic poststroke patients and 6 healthy subjects. Motion analysis of the task proposed (reaching for the glass, bringing it to the mouth, and putting it back on the table) with the affected limb was performed. Clinical assessment using the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for Upper Extremity was also included. During the reaching for the glass the patients showed a reduced arm elongation and trunk axial rotation due to motor deficit. For this reason, as observed, they carried out compensatory strategies which included trunk forward displacement and head movements. These preliminary data should be considered to address rehabilitation treatment. Moreover, the kinematic analysis protocol developed might represent an outcome measure of upper limb rehabilitation processes.