Contralesional Plasticity following Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy: Contributions of the Intact Hemisphere to Functional Recovery

Research output: Journal ArticleArticlepeer-review


Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. A common, chronic deficit after stroke is upper limb impairment, which can be exacerbated by compensatory use of the nonparetic limb. Resulting in learned nonuse of the paretic limb, compensatory reliance on the nonparetic limb can be discouraged with constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT). CIMT is a rehabilitative strategy that may promote functional recovery of the paretic limb in both acute and chronic stroke patients through intensive practice of the paretic limb combined with binding, or otherwise preventing activation of, the nonparetic limb during daily living exercises. The neural mechanisms that support CIMT have been described in the lesioned hemisphere, but there is a less thorough understanding of the contralesional changes that support improved functional outcome following CIMT. Using both human and non-human animal studies, the current review explores the role of the contralesional hemisphere in functional recovery of stroke as it relates to CIMT. Current findings point to a need for a better understanding of the functional significance of contralesional changes, which may be determined by lesion size, location, and severity as well stroke chronicity.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • CIMT
  • CI therapy
  • neuroplasticity
  • neurorecovery
  • rehabilitation


  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology
  • Psychology

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