The objective of this study was to measure the "preparation time" that is the speed of information processing in the brain, and discuss the relevance of this parameter in the restoration of hand function following flexor tendon repair. The preparation time of 48 healthy adult participants was measured twice at a 6-week interval and compared with that of 12 patients after flexor tendon repair. There was no difference between the left and right hands of the healthy participants. The correlation between repeated measurements was high, although healthy participants performed 2.6% faster 6 weeks after the first measurement. After 6 weeks of immobilisation, patients showed a significant deterioration with respect to the speed of information processing by the brain on both the injured and uninjured sides compared with healthy participants, who had improved between the first and the second measurements. The results indicate that a period of lack of normal use of the hand leads to a change in cerebral control of hand movements
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