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Bezalel, G., Nachoum Arad, G., Plotnik, M., & Friedman, J. (2021). Voluntary step execution in patients with knee osteoarthritis: Symptomatic vs. non-symptomatic legs. Gait Posture, 83, 60–66.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Individuals with osteoarthritis fall at a greater rate than the general population, likely as a result of weakness, pain, movement limitations, and a decline in balance. Due to the high prevalence of osteoarthritis in the population, understanding the mechanisms leading to greater fall risk is an important issue to better understand. RESEARCH QUESTION: What is the influence of unilateral knee osteoarthritis on the characteristics of performing a voluntary step (i.e., similar to that performed to avoid a fall after a perturbation), compared to healthy age-matched controls? METHODS: Case-control study performed in a Health maintenance organization physical therapy clinic. The research group consisted of a referred sample of 21 patients with unilateral knee osteoarthritis. The control group consisted of 22 age-matched healthy individuals. All participants were over 65 years of age. Participants were excluded if they had a surgical procedure to back or lower limb within one year before testing, oncological or neurological disease or a deficit in tactile sense. Movements were performed with and without dual tasking. MEASUREMENTS: Duration of the initiation phase (cue to step initiation), preparatory phase (step initiation to foot off) and swing phase (foot off to foot contact). RESULTS: In the preparatory phase and swing phase, the osteoarthritis group moved more slowly than the control group, and these differences were larger for forward compared to backward movements. Dual-tasking slowed responses in the pre-movement initiation stage across groups. SIGNIFICANCE: The differences in basic parameters, and the slower movements in the osteoarthritis group, are consistent with known features of osteoarthritis, being a disease commonly regarded as primarily “mechanical”, and are likely to increase fall risk. These response deficits suggest we should take advantage of advanced rehabilitation techniques, including cognitive loading, to help prevent falls in older adults with osteoarthritis.
Krasovsky, T., Keren-Capelovitch, T., Friedman, J., & Weiss, P. L. (2021). Self-feeding kinematics in an ecological setting: typically developing children and children with cerebral palsy. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng, 29, 1462–1469.
Abstract: Assessment of self-feeding kinematics is seldom performed in an ecological setting. In preparation for development of an instrumented spoon for measurement of self-feeding in children with cerebral palsy (CP), the current work aimed to evaluate upper extremity kinematics of self-feeding in young children with typical development (TD) and a small, age-matched group of children with CP in a familiar setting, while eating with a spoon. METHODS: Sixty-five TD participants and six children diagnosed with spastic CP, aged 3-9 years, fed themselves while feeding was measured using miniature three-dimensional motion capture sensors (trakStar). Kinematic variables associated with different phases of self-feeding cycle (movement time, curvature, time to peak velocity and smoothness) were compared across age-groups in the TD sample and between TD children and those with CP. RESULTS: Significant between-age group differences were identified in movement times, time to peak velocity and curvature. Children with CP demonstrated slower, less smooth self-feeding movements, potentially related to activity limitations. CONCLUSIONS: The identified kinematic variables form a basis for implementation of self-feeding performance assessment in children of different ages, including those with CP, which can be deployed via an instrumented spoon.