This study investigates the cerebellar contribution to reactive grip control by examining differences between (22-48 years) subjects with focal cerebellar lesion due to ischaemic stroke (CL) and healthy subjects (HS). The subjects used a pinch grip to grasp and restrain an instrumented handle from moving when it was subject to unpredictable load forces of different rates (2, 4, 8, 32 N/s) or amplitudes (1, 2, 4 N). The hand ipsilateral to the lesion of the cerebellar subjects showed delayed and more variable response latencies, e.g., 278 +/- 162 ms for loads delivered at 2 N/s, compared to HS 180 +/- 53 ms (P = 0.005). The CL also used a higher pre-load grip force with the ipsilateral hand, 1.6 +/- 0.8 N, than the HS, 1.3 +/- 0.6 N (P = 0.017). In addition, the contralateral hand in subjects with unilateral cerebellar stroke showed a delayed onset of the grip response compared to HS. Cerebellar lesions thus impair the reactive grip control both in the ipsilateral and contralateral hand.
2010. Vol. 203, no 1