What does ‘learned non-use’ mean in the field of medicine?

  • This refers to a medical phenomenon wherein a limb or any other body part aiding movement that is affected by temporary paralysis becomes permanently impaired due to prolonged non-use by the patient.
  • Such impairment usually sets in when patients affected by temporary paralysis begin to use other body parts to perform actions that were previously performed by the affected body part, thus leading to its prolonged non-use.
  • Learned non-use is common among patients who have been affected by paralysis following a stroke.


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