Disentangling the contribution of the paretic and non-paretic ankle to balance control in stroke patients.
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SourceExperimental Neurology, 201, 2, (2006), pp. 441-51
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue; UMCN 3.2 Cognitive Neurosciences; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences
During stroke recovery, restoration of the paretic ankle and compensation in the non-paretic ankle may contribute to improved balance maintenance. We examine a new approach to disentangle these recovery mechanisms by objectively quantifying the contribution of each ankle to balance maintenance. Eight chronic hemiparetic patients were included. Balance responses were elicited by continuous random platform movements. We measured body sway and ground reaction forces below each foot to calculate corrective ankle torques in each leg. These measurements yielded the Frequency Response Function (FRF) of the stabilizing mechanisms, which expresses the amount and timing of the generated corrective torque in response to sway at the specified frequencies. The FRFs were used to calculate the relative contribution of the paretic and non-paretic ankle to the total amount of generated corrective torque to correct sway. All patients showed a clear asymmetry in the balance contribution in favor of the non-paretic ankle. Paretic balance contribution was significantly smaller than the contribution of the paretic leg to weight bearing, and did not show a clear relation with the contribution to weight bearing. In contrast, a group of healthy subjects instructed to distribute their weight asymmetrically showed a one-on-one relation between the contribution to weight bearing and to balance. We conclude that the presented approach objectively quantifies the contribution of each ankle to balance maintenance. Application of this method in longitudinal surveys of balance rehabilitation makes it possible to disentangle the different recovery mechanisms. Such insights will be critical for the development and evaluation of rehabilitation strategies.
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