5 research outputs found

    Elastic, Viscous, and Mass Load Effects on Poststroke Muscle Recruitment and Co-contraction During Reaching: A Pilot Study

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    Background: Resistive exercise after stroke can improve strength (force-generating capacity) without increasing spasticity (velocity-dependent hypertonicity). However, the effect of resistive load type on muscle activation and co-contraction after stroke is not clear. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of load type (elastic, viscous, or mass) on muscle activation and co-contraction during resisted forward reaching in the paretic and nonparetic arms after stroke. Design: This investigation was a single-session, mixed repeated-measures pilot study. Methods: Twenty participants (10 with hemiplegia and 10 without neurologic involvement) reached forward with each arm against equivalent elastic, viscous, and mass loads. Normalized shoulder and elbow electromyography impulses were analyzed to determine agonist muscle recruitment and agonist-antagonist muscle co-contraction. Results: Muscle activation and co-contraction levels were significantly higher on virtually all outcome measures for the paretic and nonparetic arms of the participants with stroke than for the matched control participants. Only the nonparetic shoulder responded to load type with similar activation levels but variable co-contraction responses relative to those of the control shoulder. Elastic and viscous loads were associated with strong activation; mass and viscous loads were associated with minimal co-contraction. Limitations: A reasonable, but limited, range of loads was available. Conclusions: Motor control deficits were evident in both the paretic and the nonparetic arms after stroke when forward reaching was resisted with viscous, elastic, or mass loads. The paretic arm responded with higher muscle activation and co-contraction levels across all load conditions than the matched control arm. Smaller increases in muscle activation and co-contraction levels that varied with load type were observed in the nonparetic arm. On the basis of the response of the nonparetic arm, this study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that viscous loads elicited strong muscle activation with minimal co-contraction. Further intervention studies are needed to determine whether viscous loads are preferable for poststroke resistive exercise programs

    Characterization of Motor Adaptation and Limb Posture Regulation During Arm Reaching Movements Following Stroke

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    Whether attempting to pour water into a handheld glass, or simply trying to hold a young child\u27s hand, many activities of daily living require interaction with unpredictable or uncertain mechanical environments. Here we describe a systems identification study that used a planar manipulandum to characterize how hemiparetic stroke survivors adapt reaching movements to novel mechanical environments. By analyzing trial-by-trial variations in hand path kinematics, we found that stroke survivors are less likely than neurologically-intact subjects to adjust motor commands for upcoming movements based on hand trajectory errors experienced on previous trials. This ability is most significantly compromised in subjects with Fugl-Meyer scores ≤ 20. The ability to terminate movement accurately at the desired target was significantly compromised on the impaired side for most stroke survivors. This measure of performance contrasts with the trajectory updating measure in that it did not depend on impairment level. These data suggest that stroke survivors vary in their ability to effectively adapt motor commands based on recent sensorimotor experience. The findings also provide indirect support for the hypothesis that final posture regulation and feedforward trajectory control are complimentary processes that may be differentially compromised following stroke

    The Arm Motion (AMD) Detection Test

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    Stroke can lead to sensory deficits that impair functional control of arm movements. Here we describe a simple test of arm motion detection (AMD) that provides an objective, quantitative measure of movement perception related proprioceptive capabilities in the arm. Seven stroke survivors and thirteen neurologically intact control subjects performed the AMD test. In a series of ten trials that took less than 15 minutes to complete, participants used a two-button user interface to adjust the magnitude of hand displacements produced by a horizontal planar robot until the motions were just perceptible (i.e. on the threshold of detection). The standard deviation of movement detection threshold was plotted against the mean and a normative range was determined from the data collected with control subjects. Within this normative space, subjects with and without intact proprioception could be discriminated on a ratio scale that is meaningful for ongoing studies of degraded motor function. Thus, the AMD test provides a relatively fast, objective and quantitative measure of upper extremity proprioception of limb movement (i.e. kinesthesia)

    Reach Adaptation and Final Position Control Amid Environmental Uncertainty After Stroke

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    We characterized how hemiparetic stroke survivors and neurologically intact individuals adapt reaching movements to compensate for unpredictable environmental perturbations. We tested the hypotheses that like unimpaired subjects, hemiparetic stroke survivors adapt using sensory information obtained during only the most recent movements and that the reliability of target acquisition decreases as the degree of sensorimotor impairment increases. Subjects held the handle of a two-joint robotic arm that applied forces to the hand while reaching between targets in a horizontal plane. The robot simulated a dynamic environment that varied randomly in strength from one trial to the next. The trial sequence of perturbations had a nonzero mean value corresponding to information about the environment that subjects might learn. Stroke subjects were less effective than control subjects at adapting reaches to the perturbations. From a family of potential adaptation models, we found that the compensatory strategy patients used was the same as that used by neurologically intact subjects. However, analysis of model coefficients found that the relative weighting of prior perturbations and prior movement errors on subsequent reach attempts was significantly depressed poststroke. Regulation of final hand position was also impaired in the paretic limbs. Measures of trajectory adaptation and final position regulation deficits were significantly dependent on the integrity of limb proprioception and the amount of time poststroke. However, whereas model coefficients varied systematically with impairment level poststroke, variability of final positioning in the contralesional limb did not. This difference suggests that these two aspects of limb control may be differentially impaired poststroke