In Canada, there are over 50,000 new strokes reported every year. The prevalence and severity of subsequent upper limb disability is increasing and the prospect of complete recovery is poor. Stroke survivors who lack early indicators of a good prognosis, such as movement at the shoulder or wrist, are considered unlikely to regain much arm function through rehabilitation. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that untapped recovery potential may be better assessed from brain scans.
This project will create a data set that sheds light on 'who recovers' and 'who does not recover' by examining how the severely damaged brain changes over the first year post stroke. A series of brain scans and clinical tests of motor recovery will be performed for fifty adults with severe upper limb impairment after their first stroke. Their upper limb use during training and real world settings will also be documented.
This research will support the development of personalized training approaches that maximize functional recovery following stroke.