Impairment of learning the voluntary control of posture in patients with cortical lesions of different locations: The cortical mechanisms of pose regulation

K. I. Ustinova, L. A. Chernikova, M. E. Ioffe, S. S. Sliva

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Abstract

The process of learning to produce voluntary changes in the position of the center of pressures using biological feedback was studied by stabilography in patients with hemipareses due to cerebrovascular lesions in the zone supplied by the middle cerebral artery. There were significant impairments to learning in all groups of patients, who had lesions in different sites, demonstrating that cortical mechanisms are involved in learning to control posture voluntarily. These studies showed that patients with lesions in the right hemisphere had rather greater deficits in performing the task than those with lesions in the left hemisphere. There were significant differences in the initial deficit in performing the task on the first day of training depending on the side of the lesion. All groups of patients differed from healthy subjects in that significant learning occurred only at the initial stages of training (the first five days). Learning at the initial stage in patients with concomitant lesions of the parietal-temporal area and with combined lesions with motor, premotor, and parietal-temporal involvement was significantly worse and the level of task performance at the end of the initial stage was significantly worse than in patient with local lesions of the motor cortex. The level of learning was independent of the severity of the motor deficit (paresis, spasticity), but was associated with the severity of impairment of the proprioceptive sense and the severity of disruption to the upright posture (asymmetry in the distribution of support pressures, amplitude of variation in the position of the center of pressures). The learning process had positive effects on the severity of motor impairment and on the asymmetry of the distribution of support pressures in the standing posture. Reorganization of posture during bodily movements occurred mainly because of impairment to the developed "non-use" sterotype of the paralyzed lower limb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience and Behavioral Physiology
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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