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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.
Keywords: Accidental falls; Gait; Knee; Osteoarthritis; Voluntary step
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
|Lerner, O., Friedman, J., & Frenkel-Toledo, S. (2021). The effect of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation intensity on motor performance in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. J NeuroEngineering Rehabil, 18, 103.|
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.
|Cantergi, D., Awasthi, B., & Friedman, J. (2021). Moving objects by imagination? Amount of finger movement and pendulum length determine success in the Chevreul pendulum illusion. Human Movement Science, 80, 102879.|