What is constraint-induced therapy for treatment of hemiparesis following middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke?

Updated: Feb 20, 2018
  • Author: Daniel I Slater, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Answer

With constraint-induced therapy, the less-affected limb, typically the upper extremity, is restricted by either an arm sling or a hand mitt. There is extensive research on the efficacy of constraint-induced therapy for treatment of hemiparesis. Wolf et al completed the first major study on forced-use therapy. [62] They defined forced use as, “directing patient effort and attention toward the affected hemiparetic upper extremity to the exclusion of the uninvolved, contralateral limb.” Constraint-induced therapy also has excellent potential for increasing spatial awareness in patients with neglect. Further research has found that active movement of the affected upper extremity could reduce the symptoms of visuospatial neglect. [63, 64]


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