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Davidowitz, I., Parmet, Y., Frenkel-Toledo, S., Banina, M. C., Soroker, N., Solomon, J. M., et al. (2019). Relationship Between Spasticity and Upper-Limb Movement Disorders in Individuals With Subacute Stroke Using Stochastic Spatiotemporal Modeling. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 33(2), 141–152.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Spasticity is common in patients with stroke, yet current quantification methods are insufficient for determining the relationship between spasticity and voluntary movement deficits. This is partly a result of the effects of spasticity on spatiotemporal characteristics of movement and the variability of voluntary movement. These can be captured by Gaussian mixture models (GMMs). OBJECTIVES: To determine the influence of spasticity on upper-limb voluntary motion, as assessed by the bidirectional Kullback-Liebler divergence (BKLD) between motion GMMs. METHODS: A total of 16 individuals with subacute stroke and 13 healthy aged-equivalent controls reached to grasp 4 targets (near-center, contralateral, far-center, and ipsilateral). Two-dimensional GMMs (angle and time) were estimated for elbow extension motion. BKLD was computed for each individual and target, within the control group and between the control and stroke groups. Movement time, final elbow angle, average elbow velocity, and velocity smoothness were computed. RESULTS: Between-group BKLDs were much larger than within control-group BKLDs. Between-group BKLDs for the near-center target were lower than those for the far-center and contralateral targets, but similar to that for the ipsilateral target. For those with stroke, the final angle was lower for the near-center target, and the average velocity was higher. Velocity smoothness was lower for the near-center than for the ipsilateral target. Elbow flexor and extensor passive muscle resistance (Modified Ashworth Scale) strongly explained BKLD values. CONCLUSIONS: Results support the view that individuals with poststroke spasticity have a velocity-dependent reduction in active elbow joint range and that BKLD can be used as an objective measure of the effects of spasticity on reaching kinematics.
Levin, M. F., Liebermann, D. G., Parmet, Y., & Berman, S. (2015). Compensatory Versus Noncompensatory Shoulder Movements Used for Reaching in Stroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, .
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The extent to which the upper-limb flexor synergy constrains or compensates for arm motor impairment during reaching is controversial. This synergy can be quantified with a minimal marker set describing movements of the arm-plane. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether and how (a) upper-limb flexor synergy in patients with chronic stroke contributes to reaching movements to different arm workspace locations and (b) reaching deficits can be characterized by arm-plane motion. METHODS: Sixteen post-stroke and 8 healthy control subjects made unrestrained reaching movements to targets located in ipsilateral, central, and contralateral arm workspaces. Arm-plane, arm, and trunk motion, and their temporal and spatial linkages were analyzed. RESULTS: Individuals with moderate/severe stroke used greater arm-plane movement and compensatory trunk movement compared to those with mild stroke and control subjects. Arm-plane and trunk movements were more temporally coupled in stroke compared with controls. Reaching accuracy was related to different segment and joint combinations for each target and group: arm-plane movement in controls and mild stroke subjects, and trunk and elbow movements in moderate/severe stroke subjects. Arm-plane movement increased with time since stroke and when combined with trunk rotation, discriminated between different subject groups for reaching the central and contralateral targets. Trunk movement and arm-plane angle during target reaches predicted the subject group. CONCLUSIONS: The upper-limb flexor synergy was used adaptively for reaching accuracy by patients with mild, but not moderate/severe stroke. The flexor synergy, as parameterized by the amount of arm-plane motion, can be used by clinicians to identify levels of motor recovery in patients with stroke.