This study will be the first study to use ischemic preconditioning (IPC) as an intervention
to improve stroke rehabilitation. IPC is a well studied, well tolerated intervention which
has been shown to improve regional blood flow, motor neuron excitability and muscle function
in multiple patient groups and in young, healthy subjects. Because IPC targets three
physiological systems which are all affected by stroke, we hypothesize that repeated bouts of
IPC during the first days to months following stroke (when the majority of recovery occurs)
will make traditional rehabilitation strategies more effective.