Rehabilitation of Upper Limb Motor Impairment in Stroke: A Narrative Review on the Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Economic Statistics of Stroke and State of the Art Therapies

Saba Anwer, Asim Waris, Syed Omar Gilani, Javaid Iqbal, Nusratnaaz Shaikh, Amit Pujari, Imran Khan Niazi* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Stroke has been one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and is still a social health issue. Keeping in view the importance of physical rehabilitation of stroke patients, an analytical review has been compiled in which different therapies have been reviewed for their effectiveness, such as functional electric stimulation (FES), noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) including transcranial direct current stimulation (t-DCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (t-MS), invasive epidural cortical stimulation, virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation, task-oriented therapy, robot-assisted training, tele rehabilitation, and cerebral plasticity for the rehabilitation of upper extremity motor impairment. New therapeutic rehabilitation techniques are also being investigated, such as VR. This literature review mainly focuses on the randomized controlled studies, reviews, and statistical meta-analyses associated with motor rehabilitation after stroke. Moreover, with the increasing prevalence rate and the adverse socio-economic consequences of stroke, a statistical analysis covering its economic factors such as treatment, medication and post-stroke care services, and risk factors (modifiable and non-modifiable) have also been discussed. This review suggests that if the prevalence rate of the disease remains persistent, a considerable increase in the stroke population is expected by 2025, causing a substantial economic burden on society, as the survival rate of stroke is high compared to other diseases. Compared to all the other therapies, VR has now emerged as the modern approach towards rehabilitation motor activity of impaired limbs. A range of randomized controlled studies and experimental trials were reviewed to analyse the effectiveness of VR as a rehabilitative treatment with considerable satisfactory results. However, more clinical controlled trials are required to establish a strong evidence base for VR to be widely accepted as a preferred rehabilitation therapy for stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Article number190
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

This research received no external funding.Thanks to all the authors and colleagues for their precious time and effort. It
was impossible without any mutual, technical, and emotional support

Data Availability Statement

Data presented in the paper is extracted from published work. The
authors of the current study do not have the raw data.


  • stroke
  • rehabilitation
  • tele rehabilitation
  • electric stimulation
  • virtual reality
  • epidural
  • NIBS
  • risk factors
  • modifiable
  • non-modifiable


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