Posts Tagged motor control

[Abstract] Improvement of upper limb motor control and function after competitive and non-competitive volleyball exercises in chronic stroke survivors: A randomized clinical trial

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate the effects of competitive and non-competitive volleyball exercises on the functional performance and motor control of the upper limbs in chronic stroke survivors.

Design

Randomized clinical trial.

Setting

Outpatient rehabilitation center.

Participants

Forty-eight chronic stroke survivors.

Interventions

Participants were randomly assigned to competitive (n=16) or non-competitive (n=16) volleyball exercise groups (60 min/day volleyball exercise + 30 min/day traditional rehabilitation, 3 day/week for 7 weeks) and control group (n=16).

Main outcome measures

Reach and grasp motor control measures were evaluated through kinematic analysis. Functional outcomes were assessed via Motor Activity Log, Wolf Motor Function Test, Box and Block Test, as well as, Wrist Position Sense Test.

Results

Significant improvement of functional performance was observed in both competitive (P <0.0001) and non-competitive volleyball exercise groups (P <0.01), but not in the control group (P >0.05), with the exception of Wolf Motor Function Test score. Volleyball training, in general, resulted in more efficient spatiotemporal control of reach and grasp functions, as well as less dependence on feedback control as compared to the control group. Moreover, the competitive volleyball exercise group exhibited greater improvement in both functional performance and motor control levels.

Conclusions

Volleyball team exercises, especially in a competitive format, resulted in enhancing the efficacy of the pre-programming and execution of reach and grasp movements, as well as a shift from feedback to feedforward control of the affected upper limb in chronic stroke survivors. This may well be a potential underlying mechanism for improving functional performance.

 

via Improvement of upper limb motor control and function after competitive and non-competitive volleyball exercises in chronic stroke survivors: A randomized clinical trial – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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[BLOG POST] Motor Control • What Does it Do – Clinical Education

Motor Control / Muscle Activation / Motor Re-education, whatever you might want to call it — is one of the crucial keys to a successful rehabilitation program especially in sports medicine rehabilitation but is often times overlooked by many clinicians.

What Happens After Injury and How it relates to Motor Control?

Injury causes chemical pain and swelling, both of which have inhibitory effect on muscle’s ability to contract.

“Persistent pain alone will cause muscle weakness due to decrease in neural output” — P. Brukner & K. Khan

Motor ControlTherefore, muscle conditioning or motor control must commence after initial injury along with pain and inflammation management. This process or treatment aims to teach the patient how to activate those muscles that are inhibited following an injury. For example, following a shoulder impingement injury, local stabilizers of the shoulder like the supraspinatus are inflamed and inhibited. Athletes or clients should be taught how to activate and control that damaged muscle before proceeding to other forms of muscle conditioning and/or strengthening.

I have been blessed to grew up in a university and clinics which taughts and applies the practice of activating first the local stabilizers of the body is the first priority rather than taking theshortcut of activating global muscles thinking that if global muscles are activated so do the local stabilizers. But sadly, it is not always the case. I am devastated to see so many clinics trying to fire up global muscles without knowing if local stabilizers are right on point before firing their guns.

“It’s like pulling the trigger of a gun without positioning the gun first to hit it’s target.”

It is important to differentiate what a global muscles and local muscles are. Global muscles are the large, torque-producing muscles, whereas local muscles are responsible for local stability. For example, in the shoulder region, global muscles are your deltoids & upper trapezius, while local muscles are your rotator cuff like supraspinatus and infraspinatus. In the recent years of study, there has been an increasing understanding of the important role of activating first the local stabilizers of the joint before the torque producing global muscles.

When There is No Motor Control..

When there is no motor control, there is a incorrect motor patterning syndrome, especially after injury.

Clinical Sports Medicine BookAccording to the book, Brukner & Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine (Mcgraw Medical)..“Rehabilitation of these incorrect motor patterning syndrome relies on careful assessment of the pattern of movement, theindividual strength, function of the involved muscles and the flexibility of the muscles and joints. As this abnormal movement pattern has been developed over a lengthy period, it is necessary for the patient to learn a new movement pattern. This takes time and patience.The movement should be broken down into components and the patient must initially learn to execute each component individually.Eventually, the complete correct movement pattern will be learned.”

Tips

How To Do Motor Control? Tips and Tricks.

As I practice in clinics, I always use cuing and tactile / verbal feedback to facilitate control of desired movements. For me to feel if the right muscle is being activated I always palpate 2 groups of muscles. One is the muscle in which I want to control or facilitateand another are the groups of muscles which I do not want to be substituting during motor learning. I find this effective in facilitating motor control. Other techniques I use are visualization of the correct muscle action. Also, I often times demonstrate and describe the muscle action to the patient. One technique which I haven’t used yet because it is so time consuming, but I think will be more effective is to have anatomical illustrations of the muscles involved around what you want to monopolize. Use of instructions that cue the correct action also helps. For example, phrases like “pull your navel towards towards your spine” to facilitate control of transversus abdominis. One of the best advise that I would give is to focus on precision. The patient has to concentrate and focus on the precise muscle action to be achieved. It should be stressed that activation of the muscles should be a gentle action. Other muscles should remain relaxed during this localize exercise.

Once again..

“Do not pull the trigger of gun without positioning the gun first to hit it’s target.”

Reference:

  • Clinical Sports Medicine Revised 3rd Edition by Peter Brukner and Karim Khan

I like to hear it from you. What are your thoughts on these? Do you agree or disagree?

via Clinical Education • Motor Control – What Does it Do

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[Abstract] A meta-analysis of the efficacy of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation for upper limb motor recovery in stroke survivors

Abstract

Study Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Introduction

Prior reviews on the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) have shown the effectiveness of a-tDCS on corticomotor excitability and motor function in healthy individuals but nonsignificant effect in subjects with stroke.

Purpose

To summarize and evaluate the evidence for the efficacy of a-tDCS in the treatment of upper limb motor impairment after stroke.

Methods

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared a-tDCS with placebo and change from baseline.

Results

A pooled analysis showed a significant increase in scores in favor of a-tDCS (standard mean difference [SMD]=0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.10–0.70, p=0.010, compared with baseline). A similar effect was observed between a-tDCS and sham (SMD=0.49, 95% CI=0.18–0.81, p=0.005).

Conclusion

This meta-analysis of eight randomized placebo-controlled trials provides further evidence that a-tDCS may benefit motor function of the paretic upper limb in patients suffering from chronic stroke.

via A meta-analysis of the efficacy of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation for upper limb motor recovery in stroke survivors – Journal of Hand Therapy

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[ARTICLE] Upper Limb Motor Impairment Post Stroke – Full Text

Synopsis

Understanding upper limb impairment after stroke is essential to planning therapeutic efforts to restore function. However determining which upper limb impairment to treat and how is complex for two reasons: 1) the impairments are not static, i.e. as motor recovery proceeds, the type and nature of the impairments may change; therefore the treatment needs to evolve to target the impairment contributing to dysfunction at a given point in time. 2) multiple impairments may be present simultaneously, i.e., a patient may present with weakness of the arm and hand immediately after a stroke, which may not have resolved when spasticity sets in a few weeks or months later; hence there may be a layering of impairments over time making it difficult to decide what to treat first. The most useful way to understand how impairments contribute to upper limb dysfunction may be to examine them from the perspective of their functional consequences. There are three main functional consequences of impairments on upper limb function are: (1) learned nonuse, (2) learned bad-use, and (3) forgetting as determined by behavioral analysis of tasks. The impairments that contribute to each of these functional limitations are described.

The nature of upper limb motor impairment

According to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model (ICF) (Geyh, Cieza et al. 2004), impairments may be described as (1) impairments of body function such as a significant deviation or loss in neuromusculoskeletal and movement related function related to joint mobility, muscle power, muscle tone and/or involuntary movements, or (2) impairment of body structures such as a significant deviation in structure of the nervous system or structures related to movement, for example the arm and/or hand. A stroke may lead to both types of impairments. Upper limb impairments after stroke are the cause of functional limitations with regard to use of the affected upper limb after stroke, so a clear understanding of the underlying impairments is necessary to provide appropriate treatment. However understanding upper limb impairments in any given patient is complex for two reasons: 1) the impairments are not static, i.e. as motor recovery proceeds, the type and nature of the impairments may change; therefore the treatment needs to evolve to target the impairment contributing to dysfunction at a given point in time. 2) multiple impairments may be present simultaneously, i.e., a patient may present with weakness of the arm and hand immediately after a stroke, which may not have resolved when spasticity sets in a few weeks or months later; hence there may be a layering of impairments over time making it difficult to decide what to treat first. It is useful to review the progression of motor recovery as described by Twitchell (Twitchell 1951) and Brunnstrom (Brunnstom 1956) to understand how impairments may be layered over time (Figure 1).

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Sequential progression of motor recovery as described by Twitchell and Brunstrumm. Note that while recovery is proceeding from one stage to the next, residual impairment from preceding stages may still be present leading to the layering of impairment. Also note the underlying physiological processes that may account for progression from one stage to the next.

Understanding motor impairment from a functional perspective

The most useful way to understand how impairments contribute to upper limb dysfunction may be to examine them from the perspective of their functional consequences. There are three main functional consequences of stroke on the upper limb: (1) learned nonuse, (2) learned bad-use, and (3) forgetting as determined by behavioral analysis of a task such as reaching for a food pellet and bringing it to the mouth in animal models of stroke (Whishaw, Alaverdashvili et al. 2008). These are equally valid for human behavior. Each of the functional consequences and the underlying impairments are elaborated below.[…]

 

Continue —>  Upper Limb Motor Impairment Post Stroke

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[WEB SITE] Soft Robotic Glove

Soft Robotic Glove

A lightweight robotic glove to assist people suffering from loss of hand motor control to restore their ability to grasp objects independently

The majority of patients with partial or total loss of hand motor abilities, including those suffering from debilitating disorders like muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and incomplete spinal cord injury, experience greatly reduced quality of life due to their inability to perform many daily activities. Tasks often taken for granted by the able-bodied become frustrating and nearly impossible feats due to reduced gripping strength and motor control of the hand.

 

The soft robotic glove under development at the Wyss Institute could one day be an assistive device used for grasping objects, which could help patients suffering from muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), incomplete spinal cord injury, or other hand impairments to regain some daily independence and control of their environment. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

Visit site for more —>  Soft Robotic Glove

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[Abstract] Post-stroke spasticity management including a chosen physiotherapeutic methods and improvements in motor control – review of the current scientific evidence.

Abstract

Cerebrovascular diseases based on stroke etiology concern millions of people worldwide, and annual rates of disease are still increasing. In the era of an aging society and suffering from a number of risk factors, in particular those modifiable, strokes and muscles’ spastic paresis, subsequently resulting in damage of upper motor neuron structures will become a serious problem for the entire health care system. Effective management and physiotherapy treatment for post-stroke spasticity persisted, both in the acute and chronic, is still a significant medical problem in the interdisciplinary aspect. Care procedures for this type of patient becomes a kind of challenge for specialists in neurology, internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology or neurosurgery, but also for physiotherapists in their everyday clinical practice. The aim of this paper is to present the issues of cerebral stroke and resulting spastic hypertonia in terms of current pharmacological treatment and surgery, and primarily through the use of effective physiotherapy methods, the use of which was confirmed in the way of reliable scientific research in accordance with the principles of Evidence Based Medicine and Physiotherapy (EBMP).

 

via [Post-stroke spasticity management including a chosen physiotherapeutic methods and improvements in motor control – review of the current scientifi… – PubMed – NCBI

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[REVIEW] Biomechanics and neural control of movement, 20 years later: what have we learned and what has changed? – Full Text

Abstract

We summarize content from the opening thematic session of the 20th anniversary meeting for Biomechanics and Neural Control of Movement (BANCOM). Scientific discoveries from the past 20 years of research are covered, highlighting the impacts of rapid technological, computational, and financial growth on motor control research. We discuss spinal-level communication mechanisms, relationships between muscle structure and function, and direct cortical movement representations that can be decoded in the control of neuroprostheses. In addition to summarizing the rich scientific ideas shared during the session, we reflect on research infrastructure and capacity that contributed to progress in the field, and outline unresolved issues and remaining open questions.

Background

At the 20th anniversary meeting for Biomechanics and Neural Control of Movement (BANCOM), the opening thematic session was chaired by Dr. Fay Horak (Oregon Health & Science University). Presentations and discussions covered insights from 20 years of research in the field of motor control, delivered by Drs. Zev Rymer (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), Andy Biewener (Harvard University), Andy Schwartz (University of Pittsburgh), and Daofen Chen (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Presentation themes included the impact of technological advancements on motor control research, unresolved issues in muscle biology and neurophysiology, and changes in the scientific funding landscape. This brief review summarizes content presented by each speaker, along with discussions from the audience.

Considerable changes have occurred in the fields of biomechanics and motor control over the past 20 years, changes made possible by rapid technological advances in computing power and memory along with reduced physical size of biotechnology hardware. Because of these changes, research approaches have been reshaped and new questions have emerged. Previously, motor control research was constrained to laboratory-based assessments of individual neurons, muscles or joints, captured from low sample sizes. In the past, reliance on large, expensive, external recording devices, such as optical motion capture systems, understandably limited the feasibility of large-scale, multivariate research. Today, whole-body kinematic recordings using body-worn inertial measurement units, wireless electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), and functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) systems, and electrode arrays for neural network recordings are increasingly commonplace. Alongside these technical leaps, sociocultural bounds have expanded research inclusion, as evidenced in the representation of speakers at the 2016 BANCOM meeting. In contrast to the 1996 meeting, which included three invited female speakers, 13 women were included as speakers in 2016. Such advancements will continue to shape our scientific landscape, driving innovation through new technologies and perspectives.[…]

Continue —>  Biomechanics and neural control of movement, 20 years later: what have we learned and what has changed? | Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Full Text

 

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[WEB SITE] Robotic-Assisted Rehabilitation Therapy Designed to Aid Stroke Recovery

Pictured here is the experimental setup for the estimation of the 3 DOF human forearm and wrist impedance. (Photo courtesy of UNIST)

Pictured here is the experimental setup for the estimation of the 3 DOF human forearm and wrist impedance. (Photo courtesy of UNIST)

Scientists from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) have developed a new robotic tool to assess muscle overactivity and movement dysfunction in stroke survivors.

They suggest, in a study published recently in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, that their robotic-assisted rehabilitation therapy may help improve the stroke patients’ mobility.

The study was led by Professor Sang Hoon Kang of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Pyung-Hun Chang of DGIST and Dr Kyungbin Park of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, according to a media release from UNIST.

In their study, Kang and the others on the team developed a rehabilitation robotic system that quantitatively measures the 3 degrees-of-freedom (DOF) impedance of human forearm and wrist in minutes.

Using their impedance estimation device, which they call the distal internal model based impedance control (dIMBIC)-based method, the team was able to accurately characterize the 3 DOF forearm and wrist impedance, including inertia, damping, and stiffness, for the first time, the release continues.

“The dIMBIC-based method can be used to assist in the quantitative and objective evaluation of neurological disorders, like stroke,” Kang says, in the release. “Findings from this study will open a new chapter in robot-assisted rehabilitation in the workplace accident rehabilitation hospitals, as well as in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”

The research team expects that, in the long run, the proposed 3 DOF impedance estimation may promote wrist and forearm motor control studies and complement the diagnosis of the alteration in wrist and forearm resistance post-stroke by providing objective impedance values including cross-coupled terms, the release concludes.

[Source(s): Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Science Daily]

Source: Robotic-Assisted Rehabilitation Therapy Designed to Aid Stroke Recovery – Rehab Managment

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[WEB SITE] Stroke rehabilitation gets personalised and interactive – CORDIS

Stroke rehabilitation gets personalised and interactive

The significant socioeconomic costs of stroke coupled with the rise in Europe’s ageing population highlights the need for effective but affordable stroke rehabilitation programmes. EU researchers made considerable headway in this regard through novel rehabilitation paradigms.
Stroke rehabilitation gets personalised and interactive
Computer-mediated rehabilitation tools require a high degree of motor control and are therefore inadequate for patients with significant impairment in motor control. Consequently, many stroke survivors are unable to benefit. The REHABNET (REHABNET: Neuroscience based interactive systems for motor rehabilitation) project came up with an innovative approach to address this critical need.

Researchers successfully developed a hybrid brain-computer interface (BCI)-virtual reality (VR) system that assesses user capability and dynamically adjusts its difficulty level. This motor imagery-based BCI system is tailored to meet the needs of patients using a VR environment for game training coupled with neurofeedback through multimodal sensing technologies.

The game training scenarios address both cognitive and motor abilities. The four rehabilitation scenarios include bimanual motor training, dual motor cognitive-motor training and a simulated city for training on daily living activities.

Pilot and longitudinal studies demonstrated the benefits of longitudinal VR training as compared to existing rehabilitation regimens. The self-report questionnaires also revealed a high user acceptance of the novel system.

Designed for at-home use, the REHABNET toolset is platform-independent and freely available globally as an app (Reh@Mote). Besides deeper insight on factors affecting stroke recovery, this could aid in further improvement of rehabilitation strategies. More importantly, these low-cost toolsets could also address the needs of patients with severe motor and cognitive deficits. Efforts are ongoing to facilitate future commercial exploitation through a technology transfer agreement.

Related information

Source: European Commission : CORDIS : Projects and Results : Stroke rehabilitation gets personalised and interactive

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[ARTICLE] Kinematics in the brain: unmasking motor control strategies? – Full Text

 

Abstract

In rhythmical movement performance, our brain has to sustain movement while correcting for biological noise-induced variability. Here, we explored the functional anatomy of brain networks during voluntary rhythmical elbow flexion/extension using kinematic movement regressors in fMRI analysis to verify the interest of method to address motor control in a neurological population. We found the expected systematic activation of the primary sensorimotor network that is suggested to generate the rhythmical movement. By adding the kinematic regressors to the model, we demonstrated the potential involvement of cerebellar–frontal circuits as a function of the irregularity of the variability of the movement and the primary sensory cortex in relation to the trajectory length during task execution. We suggested that different functional brain networks were related to two different aspects of rhythmical performance: rhythmicity and error control. Concerning the latter, the partitioning between more automatic control involving cerebellar–frontal circuits versus less automatic control involving the sensory cortex seemed thereby crucial for optimal performance. Our results highlight the potential of using co-registered fine-grained kinematics and fMRI measures to interpret functional MRI activations and to potentially unmask the organisation of neural correlates during motor control.

Introduction

During rhythmical movement, sensory and motor systems need to interact closely to sustain the rhythm and to meet task requirements. Understanding how our system controls such a basic, all day movement is a prerequisite to improve motor (re)learning models to ameliorate rehabilitation in case of neurological movement disorders, like stroke. Mathematically, the simplest way to model rhythmicity is by means of a continuous oscillator (e.g. Haken et al. 1985). Biological noise interfering with planning and execution makes human movements unavoidably variable, which asks for correction processes (Franklin and Wolpert 2011). One of the principles governing human motor control states that optimised control is characterised by a maximum efficiency, e.g. minimal costs (Guigon et al. 2007). Minimal cost is dependent on the varying interaction between different system characteristics, including anatomical constraints, force generating capacities, and biological noise inducing the intra and interpersonal variability that is inherent to our system’s output (van Galen and Hueygevoort 2000).

Current knowledge about the neural correlates of rhythmical upper limb movement is based on standard finger and wrist movement paradigms that compare different movement conditions within people (high frequency versus low frequency, Kelso et al. 1998; rhythmic versus discrete movements, Schaal et al. 2004). Using this paradigm, simple unilateral rhythmical movements have been shown to elicit contralateral activations of the primary sensorimotor cortex (S1 + M1) and of the supplementary motor area (SMA), complemented by an ipsilateral activation of the anterior cerebellum (Allison et al. 2000; Ball et al. 1999; Schaal et al. 2004). Bilateral movements are associated with a symmetric facilitation of neural activity in the sensorimotor network, with additional frontal activations to ensure coordination between limbs. It is mediated by increased intrahemispheric connectivity and enhanced transcallosal coupling of SMA and M1 (Grefkes et al. 2008; Jäncke et al. 2000).

The activation pattern is comparable between dominant and non-dominant sided movements in extension and intensity when people move at their preferred frequency (Lutz et al. 2005; Jäncke et al. 2000; Koeneke et al. 2004). However, when movement frequency is imposed, activations during non-dominant sided movements increase in intensity compared to those of the dominant side (Lutz et al. 2005). Second, activation increases and expands for both uni and bilateral movements when movement frequency is increased above the preferred frequency (e.g. Kelso et al. 1998; Rao et al. 1996). Together, this demonstrates that moving at a non-preferred frequency is marked by an increase in costs. Therefore, imposing a fixed frequency may lead to different task-induced cost levels between participants and thus lead to biased results when comparing rhythmical motion and its neural correlates between people.

Over the time course of the movement, fine-grained kinematic variables capture the outcome of the interaction between the planned movement and the noise-dependent variability (Newell and Corcos 1993). Here, we explored whether kinematics may additionally provide information on the underlying control system, when the kinematic outcome is linked directly to brain activity. We simultaneously recorded brain activation (fMRI) and movement kinematics during a sensorimotor task that consisted of a self-paced continuous flexion/extension of the elbow. We focused on uni as well as bilateral movements, as many daily living tasks involve bilateral coordination. The task is evaluated as a simple well-known movement that does not require complex motor learning.

Based on the described theoretical model of motor control, we hypothesised that rhythmic voluntary flexion of the elbow is modulated by neural networks involved in (1) the sustained execution of the basic oscillatory rhythmical component and (2) correction processes in reaction to the variability resulting from biological noise. Sustaining the movement in rhythmical motion has been shown to involve the primary sensorimotor network, whereas discrete movements solicit additional higher cortical planning areas (Schaal et al. 2004). First, we expected to confirm the role of the sensorimotor network by performing a standard general linear-model analysis. Second, because task costs were as much equalised over participants as possible, we expected that correlating natural variation in movement execution with variation in BOLD-activation might unmask different brain regions involved in the secondary correction processes that could be (partly) separated from the primary sensorimotor network. […]

Continue —> Kinematics in the brain: unmasking motor control strategies? | SpringerLink

Fig. 2 Functional basis network: the main effect of task (flexion/extension of the elbow), FWE corrected, p < 0.05 at voxel level and the condition-specific activations p < 0.001, FWE corrected at cluster level, 22 degrees of freedom. R right sided, L left sided, B bilateral, U unilateral movement, RH right hemisphere, LH left hemisphere

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