Somatotopic mismatch of hand representation following stroke

Recovery of hand dexterity after stroke cannot be achieved in the absence of tactile sensory information. Well-organised somatotopic representation of the hand is required to interpret input from cutaneous mechanoreceptors. We have developed a testing technique that enables us to identify various distortions of somatotopic representation after stroke that are not detected by routine clinical testing and remain unknown to patients themselves. This indicates the need to raise awareness about this pathological condition and identify patients who would potentially benefit from sensory rehabilitation. We suggest that new rehabilitation strategies need to be developed specifically for such patients.

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