ResearchPad - muscle-electrophysiology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Myotonia congenita and periodic hypokalemia paralysis in a consanguineous marriage pedigree: Coexistence of a novel <i>CLCN1</i> mutation and an <i>SCN4A</i> mutation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14559 Myotonia congenita and hypokalemic periodic paralysis type 2 are both rare genetic channelopathies caused by mutations in the CLCN1 gene encoding voltage-gated chloride channel CLC-1 and the SCN4A gene encoding voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.4. The patients with concomitant mutations in both genes manifested different unique symptoms from mutations in these genes separately. Here, we describe a patient with myotonia and periodic paralysis in a consanguineous marriage pedigree. By using whole-exome sequencing, a novel F306S variant in the CLCN1 gene and a known R222W mutation in the SCN4A gene were identified in the pedigree. Patch clamp analysis revealed that the F306S mutant reduced the opening probability of CLC-1 and chloride conductance. Our study expanded the CLCN1 mutation database. We emphasized the value of whole-exome sequencing for differential diagnosis in atypical myotonic patients.

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<![CDATA[Fuzzy jump wavelet neural network based on rule induction for dynamic nonlinear system identification with real data applications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndb8f5881-c148-4c1d-a8e2-b5151d4191da

Aim

Fuzzy wavelet neural network (FWNN) has proven to be a promising strategy in the identification of nonlinear systems. The network considers both global and local properties, deals with imprecision present in sensory data, leading to desired precisions. In this paper, we proposed a new FWNN model nominated “Fuzzy Jump Wavelet Neural Network” (FJWNN) for identifying dynamic nonlinear-linear systems, especially in practical applications.

Methods

The proposed FJWNN is a fuzzy neural network model of the Takagi-Sugeno-Kang type whose consequent part of fuzzy rules is a linear combination of input regressors and dominant wavelet neurons as a sub-jump wavelet neural network. Each fuzzy rule can locally model both linear and nonlinear properties of a system. The linear relationship between the inputs and the output is learned by neurons with linear activation functions, whereas the nonlinear relationship is locally modeled by wavelet neurons. Orthogonal least square (OLS) method and genetic algorithm (GA) are respectively used to purify the wavelets for each sub-JWNN. In this paper, fuzzy rule induction improves the structure of the proposed model leading to less fuzzy rules, inputs of each fuzzy rule and model parameters. The real-world gas furnace and the real electromyographic (EMG) signal modeling problem are employed in our study. In the same vein, piecewise single variable function approximation, nonlinear dynamic system modeling, and Mackey–Glass time series prediction, ratify this method superiority. The proposed FJWNN model is compared with the state-of-the-art models based on some performance indices such as RMSE, RRSE, Rel ERR%, and VAF%.

Results

The proposed FJWNN model yielded the following results: RRSE (mean±std) of 10e-5±6e-5 for piecewise single-variable function approximation, RMSE (mean±std) of 2.6–4±2.6e-4 for the first nonlinear dynamic system modelling, RRSE (mean±std) of 1.59e-3±0.42e-3 for Mackey–Glass time series prediction, RMSE of 0.3421 for gas furnace modelling and VAF% (mean±std) of 98.24±0.71 for the EMG modelling of all trial signals, indicating a significant enhancement over previous methods.

Conclusions

The FJWNN demonstrated promising accuracy and generalization while moderating network complexity. This improvement is due to applying main useful wavelets in combination with linear regressors and using fuzzy rule induction. Compared to the state-of-the-art models, the proposed FJWNN yielded better performance and, therefore, can be considered a novel tool for nonlinear system identification.

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<![CDATA[Patterns of muscle coordination during dynamic glenohumeral joint elevation: An EMG study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730d6d5eed0c484f381e4

The shoulder relies heavily on coordinated muscle activity for normal function owing to its limited osseous constraint. However, previous studies have failed to examine the sophisticated interrelationship between all muscles. It is essential for these normal relationships to be defined as a basis for understanding pathology. Therefore, the primary aim of the study was to investigate shoulder inter-muscular coordination during different planes of shoulder elevation. Twenty healthy subjects were included. Electromyography was recorded from 14 shoulder girdle muscles as subjects performed shoulder flexion, scapula plane elevation, abduction and extension. Cross-correlation was used to examine the coordination between different muscles and muscle groups. Significantly higher coordination existed between the rotator cuff and deltoid muscle groups during the initial (Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) = 0.79) and final (PCC = 0.74) stages of shoulder elevation compared to the mid-range (PCC = 0.34) (p = 0.020–0.035). Coordination between the deltoid and a functional adducting group comprising the latissimus dorsi and teres major was particularly high (PCC = 0.89) during early shoulder elevation. The destabilising force of the deltoid, during the initial stage of shoulder elevation, is balanced by the coordinated activity of the rotator cuff, latissimus dorsi and teres major. Stability requirements are lower during the mid-range of elevation. At the end-range of movement the demand for muscular stability again increases and higher coordination is seen between the deltoid and rotator cuff muscle groups. It is proposed that by appreciating the sophistication of normal shoulder function targeted evidence-based rehabilitation strategies for conditions such as subacromial impingement syndrome or shoulder instability can be developed.

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<![CDATA[Using computer-vision and machine learning to automate facial coding of positive and negative affect intensity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633970d5eed0c484ae6711

Facial expressions are fundamental to interpersonal communication, including social interaction, and allow people of different ages, cultures, and languages to quickly and reliably convey emotional information. Historically, facial expression research has followed from discrete emotion theories, which posit a limited number of distinct affective states that are represented with specific patterns of facial action. Much less work has focused on dimensional features of emotion, particularly positive and negative affect intensity. This is likely, in part, because achieving inter-rater reliability for facial action and affect intensity ratings is painstaking and labor-intensive. We use computer-vision and machine learning (CVML) to identify patterns of facial actions in 4,648 video recordings of 125 human participants, which show strong correspondences to positive and negative affect intensity ratings obtained from highly trained coders. Our results show that CVML can both (1) determine the importance of different facial actions that human coders use to derive positive and negative affective ratings when combined with interpretable machine learning methods, and (2) efficiently automate positive and negative affect intensity coding on large facial expression databases. Further, we show that CVML can be applied to individual human judges to infer which facial actions they use to generate perceptual emotion ratings from facial expressions.

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<![CDATA[Antagonist muscle activity during reactive balance responses is elevated in Parkinson’s disease and in balance impairment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6c8d5eed0c484ef3d8a

Background

Abnormal antagonist leg muscle activity could indicate increased muscle co-contraction and clarify mechanisms of balance impairments in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Prior studies in carefully selected patients showed PD patients demonstrate earlier, longer, and larger antagonist muscle activation during reactive balance responses to perturbations.

Research question

Here, we tested whether antagonist leg muscle activity was abnormal in a group of PD patients who were not selected for phenotype and most of whom had volunteered for exercise-based rehabilitation.

Methods

We compared antagonist activation during reactive balance responses to multidirectional support-surface translation perturbations in 31 patients with mild-moderate PD (age 68±9; H&Y 1–3; UPDRS-III 32±10) and 13 matched individuals (age 65±9). We quantified modulation of muscle activity (i.e., the ability to activate and inhibit muscles appropriately according to the perturbation direction) using modulation indices (MI) derived from minimum and maximum EMG activation levels observed across perturbation directions.

Results

Antagonist leg muscle activity was abnormal in unselected PD patients compared to controls. Linear mixed models identified significant associations between impaired modulation and PD (P<0.05) and PD severity (P<0.01); models assessing the entire sample without referencing PD status identified associations with balance ability (P<0.05), but not age (P = 0.10).

Significance

Antagonist activity is increased during reactive balance responses in PD patients who are not selected on phenotype and are candidates for exercise-based rehabilitation. This activity may be a mechanism of balance impairment in PD and a potential rehabilitation target or outcome measure.

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<![CDATA[Dynamic stretching alone can impair slower velocity isokinetic performance of young male handball players for at least 24 hours]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e66ed5eed0c484ef3164

There are many adult studies reporting static stretch (SS)-induced deficits and dynamic stretch (DS) performance improvements shortly after the intervention. However, there is only a single study examining stretch-induced performance changes with youth at 24 hours’ post-stretch. The objective of this study was to examine physiological responses of young trained athletes at 24-hours after experiencing SS or DS protocols. Eight young male, elite handball players (age: 16.1±5.1 years) were tested prior to-, 3-minutes and 24-hours following the three conditions (DS, SS, Control) in a randomized and counterbalanced order. Similar volumes of SS (2 repetitions of 75s for each leg) and DS (5 repetitions of 30s for each leg) involved one stretch each for the quadriceps and hamstrings. Tests included (i) two 4s maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVC) at 60° of knee flexion with 2-min rest, (ii) two maximal isokinetic contractions each at 60°/sec and 300°/sec with 1-min rest, and (iii) two drop jumps with 30-sec rest. To simulate a full warm-up, dynamic activity including 5 minutes of aerobic cycling (70 rpm; 1 kilopond), 4 submaximal isometric contractions and 4 drop jumps were instituted before the pre-tests and following the interventions. Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs revealed that 1) both the SS and control conditions exhibited knee extensor 60°.s-1 (SS:-10.3%; p = 0.04, Control: -8.7%; p = 0.07) and 300°.s-1 (SS: -12.9%; p = 0.005, Control: -16.3%; p = 0.02) isokinetic deficits at post-test, 2) DS impaired knee flexor 60°.s-1 isokinetic work and power-related measures at post-test (Work: -10.1%; p = 0.0006; Power: -19.1%; p = 0.08) and at 24-hours’ post-test (Work: 9.9%; p = 0.023; Power: -9.6%; p = 0.01), 3) DS (12.07% and 10.47%) and SS (13.7% and 14.6%) enhanced knee flexor 300°.s-1 isokinetic force and power-related measures compared to control. In conclusion, testing-induced knee extensor isokinetic impairments were counterbalanced by DS, however the hip flexion DS could have produced minor muscle damage for at least 24-hours decreasing knee flexor forces and power at 60°.s-1.

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<![CDATA[Shorter sleep durations in adolescents reduce power density in a wide range of waking electroencephalogram frequencies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c4a4d5eed0c4845e8b16

Despite sleep’s recognized biological importance, it has been remarkably difficult to demonstrate changes in brain physiology with reduced sleep durations. In a study of adolescents, we varied sleep durations by restricting time in bed for four nights of either 10, 8.5 or 7 h. Shorter sleep durations significantly decreased waking electroencephalogram (EEG) power in a wide range of frequencies with both eyes closed and eyes open in central and occipital leads. These findings suggest new research directions and raise the possibility that waking EEG power density could provide a non-invasive test for biologically sufficient sleep.

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<![CDATA[Electromyographic comparison of the barbell deadlift using constant versus variable resistance in healthy, trained men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c441d5eed0c4845e83ac

Variable, external resistance is proposed to increasingly augment the muscular stress throughout a dynamic movement. However, it is uncertain how different levels of variable resistance affect the activation in the deadlift. The aim of the study was to compare the electromyographic activity of the gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, vastus lateralis and erector spinae muscles during the barbell deadlift with free weights (FW) alone, with two (FW-2EB), and four elastic bands (FW-4EB) to deload some of the constant external resistance. Fifteen resistance-trained men participated in a cross-over design where resistance loadings were matched using two-repetition maximum loadings in the three different conditions. For the whole movement, both repetitions were analyzed. For the phase-specific analysis, the last repetition was divided into six parts, i.e. the lower, middle and upper phase in both the ascending and descending phase of the movement. The mean deloading contributions from FW-2EB and FW-4EB were 21% and 41%, respectively. In FW-4EB, the erector spinae was activated more in the whole movement (8%, ES = 0.31, p = 0.002) compared to FW-2EB. There was also a tendency towards higher activation in FW-4EB versus FW for the whole movement (5%, ES = 0.18, p = 0.072). There were no significant differences between the conditions in any of the other phases or muscles (p = 0.106–0.926). In summary, a high contribution from variable, external resistance seems to activate the back extensors more than a low contribution.

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<![CDATA[Basic knowledge of social hierarchies and physiological profile of reared sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax (L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5d2d5eed0c484ca8fd2

The effects of social hierarchies (dominant/subordinate individuals), such as aggressiveness, feeding order, and territoriality, are some of the characteristics used for describing fish behaviour. Social hierarchy patterns are still poorly understood in European-reared sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). In this work, we examine the social interactions among captive fish integrating behavioural and physiological profiles. Groups of three fish with EMG (electromyogram) radio transmitters were monitored for two weeks via video recording. Plasma levels of cortisol, glucose, lactate and lysozyme as well as haematological parameters such as haemoglobin, haematocrit and RBCC (red blood cell count) were measured at the beginning and end of the experiments. Behaviour and muscle activity were monitored daily. The results highlighted that the social hierarchic order was established after one to two days, and it was maintained throughout the experimental period. Dominant and subordinate fish (ß and γ) showed significant differences in muscle activity, hormonal profile (cortisol), aspecific immunity (lysozyme), carbohydrate metabolism (lactate) and behavioural patterns (food order and aggressiveness). This holistic approach helps to provide insights into the physiological status of the subordinate (ß and γ) and dominant individuals. These data have wide implications for aquaculture practice.

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<![CDATA[Changes in spinal stiffness with chronic thoracic pain: Correlation with pain and muscle activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966f6d5eed0c484b5371d

Objective

The objective was to compare thoracic spinal stiffness between healthy participants and participants with chronic thoracic pain and to explore the associations between spinal stiffness, pain and muscle activity. The reliability of spinal stiffness was also evaluated.

Material and methods

Spinal stiffness was assessed from T5 to T8 using a mechanical device in 25 healthy participants and 50 participants with chronic thoracic pain (symptoms had to be reported within the evaluated region of the back). The spinal levels for which spinal stiffness was measured were standardized (i.e. T5 to T8 for all participants) to minimize between-individual variations due to the evaluation of different spinal levels. The device load and displacement data were used to calculate the global and terminal spinal stiffness coefficients at each spinal level. Immediately after each assessment, participants were asked to rate their pain intensity during the trial, while thoracic muscle activity was recorded during the load application using surface electromyography electrodes (sEMG). Within- and between-day reliability were evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), while the effects of chronic thoracic pain and spinal levels on spinal stiffness and sEMG activity were assessed using mixed model ANOVAs. Correlations between pain intensity, muscle activity and spinal stiffness were also computed.

Results

ICC values for within- and between-day reliability of spinal stiffness ranged from 0.67 to 0.91 and from 0.60 to 0.94 (except at T5), respectively. A significant decrease in the global (F1,73 = 4.04, p = 0.048) and terminal (F1,73 = 4.93, p = 0.03) spinal stiffness was observed in participants with thoracic pain. sEMG activity was not significantly different between groups and between spinal levels. Pain intensity was only significantly and "moderately" correlated to spinal stiffness coefficients at one spinal level (-0.29≤r≤-0.51), while sEMG activity and spinal stiffness were not significantly correlated.

Conclusion

The results suggest that spinal stiffness can be reliably assessed using a mechanical device and that this parameter is decreased in participants with chronic thoracic pain. Studies are required to determine the value of instrumented spinal stiffness assessment in the evaluation and management of patients with chronic spine-related pain.

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<![CDATA[A spasticity model based on feedback from muscle force explains muscle activity during passive stretches and gait in children with cerebral palsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ebed5eed0c484d2806b

Muscle spasticity is characterized by exaggerated stretch reflexes and affects about 85% of the children with cerebral palsy. However, the mechanisms underlying spasticity and its influence on gait are not well understood. Here, we first aimed to model the response of spastic hamstrings and gastrocnemii in children with cerebral palsy to fast passive stretches. Then, we evaluated how the model applied to gait. We developed three models based on exaggerated proprioceptive feedback. The first model relied on feedback from muscle fiber length and velocity (velocity-related model), the second model relied on feedback from muscle fiber length, velocity, and acceleration (acceleration-related model), and the third model relied on feedback from muscle force and its first time derivative (force-related model). The force-related model better reproduced measured hamstrings and gastrocnemii activity during fast passive stretches (coefficients of determination (R2): 0.73 ± 0.10 and 0.60 ± 0.13, respectively, and root mean square errors (RMSE): 0.034 ± 0.031 and 0.009 ± 0.007, respectively) than the velocity-related model (R2: 0.46 ± 0.15 and 0.07 ± 0.13, and RMSE: 0.053 ± 0.051 and 0.015 ± 0.009), and the acceleration-related model (R2: 0.47 ± 0.15 and 0.09 ± 0.14, and RMSE: 0.052 ± 0.050 and 0.015 ± 0.008). Additionally, the force-related model predicted hamstrings and gastrocnemii activity that better correlated with measured activity during gait (cross correlations: 0.82 ± 0.09 and 0.85 ± 0.06, respectively) than the activity predicted by the velocity-related model (cross correlations: 0.49 ± 0.17 and 0.71 ± 0.22) and the acceleration-related model (cross correlations: 0.51 ± 0.16 and 0.67 ± 0.20). Our results therefore suggest that force encoding in muscle spindles in combination with altered feedback gains and thresholds underlie activity of spastic muscles during passive stretches and gait. Our model of spasticity opens new perspectives for studying movement impairments due to spasticity through simulation.

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<![CDATA[Loading of the hip and knee joints during whole body vibration training]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab86fd5eed0c48402808e

During whole body vibrations, the total contact force in knee and hip joints consists of a static component plus the vibration-induced dynamic component. In two different cohorts, these forces were measured with instrumented joint implants at different vibration frequencies and amplitudes. For three standing positions on two platforms, the dynamic forces were compared to the static forces, and the total forces were related to the peak forces during walking. A biomechanical model served for estimating muscle force increases from contact force increases. The median static forces were 122% to 168% (knee), resp. 93% to 141% (hip), of the body weight. The same accelerations produced higher dynamic forces for alternating than for parallel foot movements. The dynamic forces individually differed much between 5.3% to 27.5% of the static forces in the same positions. On the Powerplate, they were even close to zero in some subjects. The total forces were always below 79% of the forces during walking. The dynamic forces did not rise proportionally to platform accelerations. During stance (Galileo, 25 Hz, 2 mm), the damping of dynamic forces was only 8% between foot and knee but 54% between knee and hip. The estimated rises in muscle forces due to the vibrations were in the same ranges as the contact force increases. These rises were much smaller than the vibration-induced EMG increases, reported for the same platform accelerations. These small muscle force increases, along with the observation that the peak contact and muscle forces during vibrations remained far below those during walking, indicate that dynamic muscle force amplitudes cannot be the reason for positive effects of whole body vibrations on muscles, bone remodelling or arthritic joints. Positive effects of vibrations must be caused by factors other than raised forces amplitudes.

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<![CDATA[A phenotype of increased sleepiness in a mouse model of pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular hypertrophy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141f0ad5eed0c484d29621

The relationship between cardiovascular disease and abnormalities in sleep architecture is complex and bi-directional. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) often confounds human studies examining sleep in the setting of heart failure, and the independent impact of isolated right or left heart failure on sleep is difficult to assess. We utilized an animal model of right heart failure using pulmonary artery banding (PAB) in mice to examine the causal effect of right heart failure on sleep architecture. Four weeks after PAB or sham (control) surgery, sleep was measured by polysomnography for 48 hours and right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy confirmed prior to sacrifice. PAB resulted in right ventricular hypertrophy based on a 30% increase in the Fulton Index (p < 0.01). After PAB, mice spent significantly more time in NREM sleep compared to the control group over a 24 hour period (53.5 ± 1.5% vs. 46.6 ± 1.4%; p < 0.01) and exhibited an inability to both cycle into REM sleep and decrease delta density across the light/sleep period. Our results support a phenotype of impaired sleep cycling and increased ‘sleepiness’ in a mouse model of RV dysfunction.

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<![CDATA[Capitalizing on the heterogeneous effects of CFTR nonsense and frameshift variants to inform therapeutic strategy for cystic fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf86f89d5eed0c48405ac4d

CFTR modulators have revolutionized the treatment of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) by improving the function of existing protein. Unfortunately, almost half of the disease-causing variants in CFTR are predicted to introduce premature termination codons (PTC) thereby causing absence of full-length CFTR protein. We hypothesized that a subset of nonsense and frameshift variants in CFTR allow expression of truncated protein that might respond to FDA-approved CFTR modulators. To address this concept, we selected 26 PTC-generating variants from four regions of CFTR and determined their consequences on CFTR mRNA, protein and function using intron-containing minigenes expressed in 3 cell lines (HEK293, MDCK and CFBE41o-) and patient-derived conditionally reprogrammed primary nasal epithelial cells. The PTC-generating variants fell into five groups based on RNA and protein effects. Group A (reduced mRNA, immature (core glycosylated) protein, function <1% (n = 5)) and Group B (normal mRNA, immature protein, function <1% (n = 10)) variants were unresponsive to modulator treatment. However, Group C (normal mRNA, mature (fully glycosylated) protein, function >1% (n = 5)), Group D (reduced mRNA, mature protein, function >1% (n = 5)) and Group E (aberrant RNA splicing, mature protein, function > 1% (n = 1)) variants responded to modulators. Increasing mRNA level by inhibition of NMD led to a significant amplification of modulator effect upon a Group D variant while response of a Group A variant was unaltered. Our work shows that PTC-generating variants should not be generalized as genetic ‘nulls’ as some may allow generation of protein that can be targeted to achieve clinical benefit.

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<![CDATA[Proficiency in pole handling during Nordic walking influences exercise effectiveness in middle-aged and older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f043d5eed0c484c6d555

Nordic walking (NW) is a total body version of walking increasingly used as a health-promoting activity by middle-aged and older adults. The present study examined the relationship between force exerted through the pole and physiological response during NW. In this non-randomized exercise trial, 17 participants comprising 8 middle-aged and older recreationally trained Nordic walkers (NWrec: 63.7 ± 8.1 years) and 9 experienced NW instructors (NWinstr: 57.5 ± 7.8 years) underwent outdoor ordinary walking (OW) and NW bouts as fast as possible for 12 minutes. Walking distance, speed, heart rate (HR), energy expenditure (METs and J/kg/m) and upper and lower limb muscle activities using surface electromyogram (EMG) were assessed. A pole with a built-in load cell measured force applied to the pole with peak pole force, pole contact time, % of pole contact time with respect to the gait cycle, and pole impulse derived. We conducted two-way analysis of covariance adjusted for age and BMI. There was a significant group and walking type interaction for walking distance and speed (P = 0.04), METs (P < 0.01), and HR (P = 0.04) with higher values in the NWinstr group during NW than OW. As expected, upper limb EMG activities increased (P < 0.01) with NW in both groups. All pole force measures were significantly higher in NWinstr than NWrec (P ≤ 0.01). Change in walking distance and speed were correlated with pole peak force (r = 0.67, P < 0.01) and pole impulse (r = 0.63, P = 0.01). Similarly, change in METs was associated with peak pole force (r = 0.66, P < 0.01) and pole impulse (r = 0.56, P = 0.02). These results indicate that planting the pole on the ground more forcefully and for longer periods to derive a driving force in NW enhances the effectiveness of the exercise and potentially the health-derived benefits.

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<![CDATA[Modulation of plantar pressure and gastrocnemius activity during gait using electrical stimulation of the tibialis anterior in healthy adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b03d272463d7e6e6b5b7907

High plantar flexor moment during the stance phase is known to cause high plantar pressure under the forefoot; however, the effects on plantar pressure due to a change of gastrocnemius medialis (GM) activity during gait, have not been investigated to date. Reciprocal inhibition is one of the effects of electrical stimulation (ES), and is the automatic antagonist alpha motor neuron inhibition which is evoked by excitation of the agonist muscle. The aim of this study was to investigate the influences of ES of the tibialis anterior (TA) on plantar pressure and the GM activity during gait in healthy adults. ES was applied to the TAs of twenty healthy male adults for 30 minutes at the level of intensity that causes a full range of dorsiflexion in the ankle (frequency; 50 Hz, on-time; 10 sec, off-time; 10 sec). Subjects walked 10 meters before and after ES, and we measured the peak plantar pressure (PP), pressure time integral (PTI), and gait parameters by using an F-scan system. The percentage of integrated electromyogram (%IEMG), active time, onset time, peak time, and cessation time of TA and GM were calculated. PP and PTI under the forefoot, rear foot, and total plantar surface significantly decreased after the application of ES. Meanwhile, changes of gait parameters were not observed. %IEMG and the active time of both muscles did not change; however, onset time and peak time of GM became significantly delayed. ES application to the TA delayed the timing of onset and peak in the GM, and caused the decrease of plantar pressure during gait. The present results suggest that ES to the TA could become a new method for the control of plantar pressure via modulation of GM activity during gait.

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<![CDATA[Clinical and Molecular Characterization of BSCL2 Mutations in a Taiwanese Cohort with Hereditary Neuropathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d4ab0ee8fa60b6563a

Background

A small group of patients with inherited neuropathy that has been shown to be caused by mutations in the BSCL2 gene. However, little information is available about the role of BSCL2 mutations in inherited neuropathies in Taiwan.

Methodology and Principal Findings

Utilizing targeted sequencing, 76 patients with molecularly unassigned Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 (CMT2) and 8 with distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN), who were selected from 348 unrelated patients with inherited neuropathies, were screened for mutations in the coding regions of BSCL2. Two heterozygous BSCL2 mutations, p.S90L and p.R96H, were identified, of which the p.R96H mutation is novel. The p.S90L was identified in a pedigree with CMT2 while the p.R96H was identified in a patient with apparently sporadic dHMN. In vitro studies demonstrated that the p.R96H mutation results in a remarkably low seipin expression and reduced cell viability.

Conclusion

BSCL2 mutations account for a small number of patients with inherited neuropathies in Taiwan. The p.R96H mutation is associated with dHMN. This study expands the molecular spectrum of BSCL2 mutations and also emphasizes the pathogenic role of BSCL2 mutations in molecularly unassigned hereditary neuropathies.

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<![CDATA[Motor Adaptations to Pain during a Bilateral Plantarflexion Task: Does the Cost of Using the Non-Painful Limb Matter?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db09ab0ee8fa60bc97b9

During a force-matched bilateral task, when pain is induced in one limb, a shift of load to the non-painful leg is classically observed. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that this adaptation to pain depends on the mechanical efficiency of the non-painful leg. We studied a bilateral plantarflexion task that allowed flexibility in the relative force produced with each leg, but constrained the sum of forces from both legs to match a target. We manipulated the mechanical efficiency of the non-painful leg by imposing scaling factors: 1, 0.75, or 0.25 to decrease mechanical efficiency (Decreased efficiency experiment: 18 participants); and 1, 1.33 or 4 to increase mechanical efficiency (Increased efficiency experiment: 17 participants). Participants performed multiple sets of three submaximal bilateral isometric plantarflexions with each scaling factor during two conditions (Baseline and Pain). Pain was induced by injection of hypertonic saline into the soleus. Force was equally distributed between legs during the Baseline contractions (laterality index was close to 1; Decreased efficiency experiment: 1.16±0.33; Increased efficiency experiment: 1.11±0.32), with no significant effect of Scaling factor. The laterality index was affected by Pain such that the painful leg contributed less than the non-painful leg to the total force (Decreased efficiency experiment: 0.90±0.41, P<0.001; Increased efficiency experiment: 0.75±0.32, P<0.001), regardless of the efficiency (scaling factor) of the non-painful leg. When compared to the force produced during Baseline of the corresponding scaling condition, a decrease in force produced by the painful leg was observed for all conditions, except for scaling 0.25. This decrease in force was correlated with a decrease in drive to the soleus muscle. These data highlight that regardless of the overall mechanical cost, the nervous system appears to prefer to alter force sharing between limbs such that force produced by the painful leg is reduced relative to the non-painful leg.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of In-Body to On-Body Wireless Radio Frequency Link for Upper Limb Prostheses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da37ab0ee8fa60b86be7

Wireless implanted devices can be used to interface patients with disabilities with the aim of restoring impaired motor functions. Implanted devices that record and transmit electromyographic (EMG) signals have been applied for the control of active prostheses. This simulation study investigates the propagation losses and the absorption rate of a wireless radio frequency link for in-to-on body communication in the medical implant communication service (MICS) frequency band to control myoelectric upper limb prostheses. The implanted antenna is selected and a suitable external antenna is designed. The characterization of both antennas is done by numerical simulations. A heterogeneous 3D body model and a 3D electromagnetic solver have been used to model the path loss and to characterize the specific absorption rate (SAR). The path loss parameters were extracted and the SAR was characterized, verifying the compliance with the guideline limits. The path loss model has been also used for a preliminary link budget analysis to determine the feasibility of such system compliant with the IEEE 802.15.6 standard. The resulting link margin of 11 dB confirms the feasibility of the system proposed.

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<![CDATA[Synergistic Structure in the Speed Dependent Modulation of Muscle Activity in Human Walking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadeab0ee8fa60bbabe3

Recently, a modular organisation has been proposed to simplify control of the large number of muscles involved in human walking. Although previous research indicates that a single set of modular activation patterns can account for muscle activity at different speeds, these studies only provide indirect evidence for the idea that speed regulation in human walking is under modular control. Here, a more direct approach was taken to assess the synergistic structure that underlies speed regulation, by isolating speed effects through the construction of gain functions that represent the linear relation between speed and amplitude for each point in the time-normalized gait cycle. The activity of 13 muscles in 13 participants was measured at 4 speeds (0.69, 1.00, 1.31, and 1.61 ms-1) during treadmill walking. Gain functions were constructed for each of the muscles, and gain functions and the activity patterns at 1.00 ms-1 were both subjected to dimensionality reduction, to obtain modular gain functions and modular basis functions, respectively. The results showed that 4 components captured most of the variance in the gain functions (74.0% ± 1.3%), suggesting that the neuromuscular regulation of speed is under modular control. Correlations between modular gain functions and modular basis functions (range 0.58–0.89) and the associated synergistic muscle weightings (range 0.6–0.95) were generally high, suggesting substantial overlap in the synergistic control of the basic phasing of muscle activity and its modulation through speed. Finally, the combined set of modular functions and associated weightings were well capable of predicting muscle activity patterns obtained at a speed (1.31 ms-1) that was not involved in the initial dimensionality reduction, confirming the robustness of the presently used approach. Taken together, these findings provide direct evidence of synergistic structure in speed regulation, and may inspire further work on flexibility in the modular control of gait.

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