Navigation Links
Arm in plaster changes brain in 16 days

This release is available in German.

What happens in the brain of right-handed people if their dominant hand is immobile for two weeks? This is the question addressed in the latest study led by Professor Lutz Jncke and the Trauma Surgery Department at Zurich University Hospital. For the study, ten right-handed people with broken upper right arms were examined. Because of the plaster or sling, the test people's right hands were restricted to little or no movement for fourteen days. Therefore they used their left hands for daily activities such as eating, brushing their teeth or writing. The participants were given two MRI brain scans: one 48 hours after injury and a second 16 days after the arm was immobilized. Based on the scans, the neuropsychologists analyzed the test people's gray and white brain matter. They calculated the thickness of the cerebral cortex and the values of the corticospinal tract and measured the fine motor skills of the left, free-moving hand.

Rearrangement of the brain matter

"In a short space of time, the immobilization of the right hand changed the sensory and motor brain areas," explains the author of the study, Nicki Langer. The gray and white brain matter of the motor areas in the right brain hemisphere that control the immobilized right hand decreases while the brain matter of the right motor areas that control the inferior left hand grows. "It is interesting that the fine motor skills of the left hand improved considerably during the 16 days the right hand was restricted," adds neuropsychologist Lutz Jncke. The improvement in motor performance correlates with the anatomical change: the better the fine motor skills of the left hand, the more brain substance there is in the right motor area. And: the better the fine motor skills of the left hand, the less brain matter there is in the left motor area.

Therapeutic benefits

The results of the study are interesting for the treatment of strokes. In a therapeutic approach, for instance, the undamaged arm can be immobilized to strengthen the affected arm and stimulate the corresponding brain area for new skills. "Our study shows that this kind of therapy has both positive and negative effects," says Langer. "Our study also supports the current trauma surgery guidelines, which state that an injured arm or leg should only be immobilized for as short a period as possible, but as long as necessary," concludes Langer.


Contact: Lutz Jaencke
University of Zurich

Related medicine news :

1. Physical Changes in Brain Linked to Altered Spirituality
2. Northern California Cancer Center Changes Name to Cancer Prevention Institute of California
3. Medicare Advantage Members May Make Changes During Open Enrollment
4. CMS Watch Changes Name to The Real Story Group
5. Changes during menopause increases risk of heart disease and stroke
6. Childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect can result in structural brain changes
7. Dmatek Changes its Name to Attenti
8. Long Island Pediatric Group Announces Policy Changes That Will Help More New Yorkers
9. Changes the Way People Lose Weight by Offering an Affordable HCG Diet Plan
10. Small Nutritional Changes are a Key to Health, Weight Loss, says DSM Personalized Nutrition
11. Canadian Cattle Producers Willing to Make Changes to Prevent E. coli O157 Contamination on their Farms
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that he ... now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing on ... as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, travel ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating their record books yet again with ... flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment for the PRMA team, says ... it’s an honor to have served all of these women.” , PRMA is one ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Karnataka (PRWEB) , ... November ... ... innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with ... to holistically address their reader’s queries on topics on mental and emotional ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... clean water accessible for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together ... on clean water by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders ... report to their offering. Boston ... Boston scientific and others. --> ... Biotronik, Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... their offering. --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report ... has announced the addition of the "Self ... their offering. --> Research and Markets ... the "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: