Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the kinematics of the presumed-to-beunaffected upper limbs of people with brain injury (BI) compared with people without brain injury (WBI) during reaching.

METHOD. Seventeen people with BI with no apparent motor deficit and 17 people WBI were measured and compared. A six-camera motion analysis system was used to determine movement duration, average speed, and smoothness during reaching.

RESULTS. The group of people with BI was found to be significantly longer in movement duration (p < .0001), were slower in average speed (p < .0001), and had decreased smoothness (p < .0001) during reaching than the group of people WBI.

CONCLUSION. The results suggest that people with BI may have undetected motor deficit in their presumed-to-be-unaffected upper extremities. Further research is needed to explore the upper-limb motor performance and the impact on function and safety.

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