Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 236, Issue 5, pp 1263–1272 | Cite as

A “matched” sensory reference can guide goal-directed movements of the affected hand in central post-stroke sensory ataxia

  • Michihiro OsumiEmail author
  • Masahiko Sumitani
  • Yuko Otake
  • Shu Morioka
Research Article


Patients with central post-stroke sensory ataxia (CPSA) suffer from not only somatosensory dysfunction but also the ataxic movement disorder of the affected limb. These sensory and motor impairments possibly interfere each other, but such interference is still unclear. We evaluated smoothness of grasp movements in CPSA patients using a kinematic analysis, and verified the effect of somatosensory reference from the intact hand on grasp movements. Eight CPSA patients were enrolled. We recorded their reach-and-pinch movements of both affected and intact hands toward the tip of the 3-cm-diameter vertical bar, using a three-dimensional measurement system. When executing these movements of one hand, the patients simultaneously pinched the same diameter bar as the goal tip (matched-reference condition: Matched-Ref) or the 5-cm-diameter thicker bar (mismatched-reference condition: Mismatched-Ref) by the other hand. The normalized jerk index (i.e., movement smoothness) of the affected hand was disturbed compared with the intact hand. The kinematic data of the finger opening and closing phases were also disturbed. These disturbances were partially improved with Matched-Ref but not Mismatched-Ref of the intact hand. We successfully evaluated the features of CPSA, indicating that the somatosensory reference method could be useful for rehabilitation in sensory ataxia.


Sensory ataxia Motor control Bimanual coupling 



This study was supported by a grant from JSPS KAKENHI Grant numbers 17K13080 and 17H05915.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michihiro Osumi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Masahiko Sumitani
    • 3
  • Yuko Otake
    • 3
  • Shu Morioka
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Health ScienceKio UniversityNaraJapan
  2. 2.Neurorehabilitation Research CenterKio UniversityNaraJapan
  3. 3.Department of Pain and Palliative MedicineThe University of Tokyo HospitalTokyoJapan

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