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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 684860, 7 pages
Review Article

The Ipsilesional Upper Limb Can Be Affected following Stroke

1Stroke Research, Neurology Department, John Hunter Hospital, Hunter New England Local Health District, Locked Bag 1, Hunter Regional Mail Centre, NSW 2310, Australia
2School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
3Hunter Brain Injury Service, Hunter New England Local Health District, Bar Beach, NSW 2300, Australia

Received 20 August 2013; Accepted 17 September 2013

Academic Editors: A. Biegon and F. Gonzalez-Lima

Copyright © 2013 Gemma H. Kitsos 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.


Objective. Neurological dysfunction commonly occurs in the upper limb contralateral to the hemisphere of the brain in which stroke occurs; however, the impact of stroke on function of the ipsilesional upper limb is not well understood. This study aims to systematically review the literature relating to the function of the ipsilesional upper limb following stroke and answer the following research question: Is the ipsilesional upper limb affected by stroke? Data Source. A systematic review was carried out in Medline, Embase, and PubMed. Review Methods. All studies investigating the ipsilesional upper limb following stroke were included and analysed for important characteristics. Outcomes were extracted and summarised. Results. This review captured 27 articles that met the inclusion criteria. All studies provided evidence that the ipsilesional upper limb can be affected following stroke. Conclusion. These findings demonstrate that clinicians should consider ipsilesional upper limb deficits in rehabilitation and address this reduced functional capacity. Furthermore, the ipsilesional upper limb should not be used as a “control” measure of recovery for the contralateral upper limb.