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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.
Keywords: Gaussian mixture model; Kullback-Liebler divergence; spasticity; stroke; upper-limb kinematics
Friedman, J., & Korman, M. (2016). Offline Optimization of the Relative Timing of Movements in a Sequence Is Blocked by Retroactive Behavioral Interference. Front. Hum. Neurosci., 10, 623.
Abstract: Acquisition of motor skills often involves the concatenation of single movements into sequences. Along the course of learning, sequential performance becomes progressively faster and smoother, presumably by optimization of both motor planning and motor execution. Following its encoding during training, “how-to” memory undergoes consolidation, reflecting transformations in performance and its neurobiological underpinnings over time. This offline post-training memory process is characterized by two phenomena: reduced sensitivity to interference and the emergence of delayed, typically overnight, gains in performance. Here, using a training protocol that effectively induces motor sequence memory consolidation, we tested temporal and kinematic parameters of performance within (online) and between (offline) sessions, and their sensitivity to retroactive interference. One group learned a given finger-to-thumb opposition sequence (FOS), and showed robust delayed (consolidation) gains in the number of correct sequences performed at 24 h. A second group learned an additional (interference) FOS shortly after the first and did not show delayed gains. Reduction of touch times and inter-movement intervals significantly contributed to the overall offline improvement of performance overnight. However, only the offline inter-movement interval shortening was selectively blocked by the interference experience. Velocity and amplitude, comprising movement time, also significantly changed across the consolidation period but were interference-insensitive. Moreover, they paradoxically canceled out each other. Current results suggest that shifts in the representation of the trained sequence are subserved by multiple processes: from distinct changes in kinematic characteristics of individual finger movements to high-level, temporal reorganization of the movements as a unit. Each of these processes has a distinct time course and a specific susceptibility to retroactive interference. This multiple-component view may bridge the gap in understanding the link between the behavioral changes, which define online and offline learning, and the biological mechanisms that support those changes.
Keywords: learning; interference; consolidation; finger movements; kinematics
Harel Arzi, Tal Krasovsky, Moshe Pritsch, & Dario G. Liebermann. (2014). Movement control in patients with shoulder instability: a comparison between patients after open surgery and nonoperated patients. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 23(7), 982–992.
Open surgery to correct shoulder instability is deemed to facilitate recovery of static and dynamic motor functions. Postoperative assessments focus primarily on static outcomes (e.g., repositioning accuracy). We introduce kinematic measures of arm smoothness to assess shoulder patients after open surgery and compare them with nonoperated patients. Performance among both groups of patients was hypothesized to differ. Postsurgery patients were expected to match healthy controls.
All participants performed pointing movements with the affected/dominant arm fully extended at fast, preferred, and slow speeds (36 trials per subject). Kinematic data were collected (100 Hz, 3 seconds), and mixed-design analyses of variance (group, speed) were performed with movement time, movement amplitude, acceleration time, and model-observed similarities as dependent variables. Nonparametric tests were performed for number of velocity peaks.
Nonoperated and postsurgery patients showed similarities at preferred and faster movement speeds but not at slower speed. Postsurgery patients were closer to maximally smoothed motion and differed from healthy controls mainly during slow arm movements (closer to maximal smoothness, larger movement amplitude, shorter movement time, and lower number of peaks; i.e., less movement fragmentation).
Arm kinematic analyses suggest that open surgery stabilizes the shoulder but does not necessarily restore normal movement quality. Patients with recurrent anterior shoulder instability (RASI) seem to implement a “safe” but nonadaptive mode of action whereby preplanned stereotypical movements may be executed without depending on feedback. Rehabilitation of RASI patients should focus on restoring feedback-based movement control. Clinical assessment of RASI patients should include higher order kinematic descriptors.
Keywords: Smoothness; kinesthesis; arm kinematics; shoulder instability; open surgery
Lackritz, H., Parmet, Y., Frenkel-Toledo, S., Banina, M. C., Soroker, N., Solomon, J. M., et al. (2021). Effect of post-stroke spasticity on voluntary movement of the upper limb. J Neuroeng Rehabil, 18(1), 81.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hemiparesis following stroke is often accompanied by spasticity. Spasticity is one factor among the multiple components of the upper motor neuron syndrome that contributes to movement impairment. However, the specific contribution of spasticity is difficult to isolate and quantify. We propose a new method of quantification and evaluation of the impact of spasticity on the quality of movement following stroke. METHODS: Spasticity was assessed using the Tonic Stretch Reflex Threshold (TSRT). TSRT was analyzed in relation to stochastic models of motion to quantify the deviation of the hemiparetic upper limb motion from the normal motion patterns during a reaching task. Specifically, we assessed the impact of spasticity in the elbow flexors on reaching motion patterns using two distinct measures of the 'distance' between pathological and normal movement, (a) the bidirectional Kullback-Liebler divergence (BKLD) and (b) Hellinger's distance (HD). These measures differ in their sensitivity to different confounding variables. Motor impairment was assessed clinically by the Fugl-Meyer assessment scale for the upper extremity (FMA-UE). Forty-two first-event stroke patients in the subacute phase and 13 healthy controls of similar age participated in the study. Elbow motion was analyzed in the context of repeated reach-to-grasp movements towards four differently located targets. Log-BKLD and HD along with movement time, final elbow extension angle, mean elbow velocity, peak elbow velocity, and the number of velocity peaks of the elbow motion were computed. RESULTS: Upper limb kinematics in patients with lower FMA-UE scores (greater impairment) showed greater deviation from normality when the distance between impaired and normal elbow motion was analyzed either with the BKLD or HD measures. The severity of spasticity, reflected by the TSRT, was related to the distance between impaired and normal elbow motion analyzed with either distance measure. Mean elbow velocity differed between targets, however HD was not sensitive to target location. This may point at effects of spasticity on motion quality that go beyond effects on velocity. CONCLUSIONS: The two methods for analyzing pathological movement post-stroke provide new options for studying the relationship between spasticity and movement quality under different spatiotemporal constraints.
Keywords: Gaussian mixture model; Hellinger's distance; Hemiparesis; Kinematics; Kullback-Liebler divergence; Spasticity; Stochastic model; Stroke
Kaufman-Cohen, Y., Portnoy, S., Levanon, Y., & Friedman, J. (2019). Does Object Height Affect the Dart Throwing Motion Angle during Seated Activities of Daily Living? J Mot Behav, , 1–10.
Abstract: Complex wrist motions are needed to complete various daily activities. Analyzing the multidimensional motion of the wrist is crucial for understanding our functional movement. Several studies have shown that numerous activities of daily livings (ADLs) are performed using an oblique plane of wrist motion from radial-extension to ulnar-flexion, named the Dart Throwing Motion (DTM) plane. To the best of our knowledge, the DTM plane angle performed during ADLs has not been compared between different heights (e.g. table, shoulder and head height), as is common when performing day-to-day tasks. In this study, we compared DTM plane angles when performing different ADLs at three different heights and examined the relationship between DTM plane angles and limb position. We found that height had a significant effect on the DTM plane angles – the mean DTM plane angle was greater at the lower level compared to the mid and higher levels. A significant effect of shoulder orientation on mean DTM plane angles was shown in the sagittal and coronal planes. Our findings support the importance of training daily tasks at different heights during rehabilitation following wrist injuries, in order to explore a large range of DTM angles, to accommodate needs of common ADLs.
Keywords: dart throwing motion (DTM); heights; kinematics; seated activities of daily living (ADL); upper extremity; wrist rehabilitation