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Physical therapy faculty member publishes research article

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UNG faculty member Dr. Andrzej Przybyla published an article with implications for stroke rehabilitation in the journal Environmental Brain Research.

Dr. Andrzej Przybyla, associate professor of physical therapy at the University of North Georgia (UNG), recently co-authored a research article with findings that could impact stroke rehabilitation. The article was published in Experimental Brain Research, a peer-reviewed journal covering research in neuroscience.

Przybyla collaborated with Dr. Robert Sainburg and his team from Penn State University on the research, which expanded the understanding of mechanisms underlying movement deficits after strokes.

"While each side of the brain controls movements of the other side of the body, this line of research provided evidence for specific specializations for control of arm movement dynamics, such as throwing, localized in the left side of the brain and position stability, such as holding objects, localized in the right side of the brain," Przybyla said.

This study investigated the control of two-arm movements after stroke and found deficits in control of movement dynamics in patients with damage in the left side of the brain. In turn, patients with damage in the right side of the brain did not show such movement deficits.

"These results expand the understanding that specialization for control of movement dynamics is localized to the left brain not only for one-arm movements, but also for two-arm movements," Przybyla said.           

Future therapeutic interventions to improve patients' arm movements could be designed to account for movement deficits based on which side of the brain suffers stroke damage, according to Przybyla.

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