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Kevin McQuade, Michelle L. Harris-Love and Jill Whitall

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the phenomenon of bilateral deficit in muscular force production observed in healthy subjects and mildly impaired stroke patients also exists in patients with more chronic and greater levels of stroke impairment. Ten patients with chronic hemiparesis resulting from stroke performed unilateral and bilateral maximal voluntary isometric contractions of the elbow flexors. When the total force produced by both arms was compared, 12% less force was produced in the bilateral compared with unilateral condition (p = 0.01). However, studying the effect of task conditions on each arm separately revealed a significant decline in nonparetic (p = 0.01) but not paretic elbow flexor force in the bilateral compared with unilateral condition. Results suggest that a significant bilateral force deficit exists in the nonparetic but not the paretic arm in individuals with chronic stroke. Bilateral task conditions do not seem to benefit or impair paretic arm maximal isometric force production in individuals with moderate-severity chronic stroke.

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Kevin J. McQuade, Margaret A. Finley, Michelle Harris-Love and Sandra McCombe-Waller

The use of magnetic tracking technology has become increasingly popular in recent years for human motion studies. However, there have been few independent evaluations of how these systems perform. The purpose of this study was to develop a dynamic pendulum calibration method to test the performance of magnetic tracking sensors. A nonmetallic pendulum was constructed and instrumented with a rotary potentiometer. A cube was attached to the distal end of the pendulum so that sensors could be mounted orthogonally. In this manner, it was possible to obtain simultaneous recordings of azimuth, elevation, and roll depending on the sensor mounting orientation relative to the axis of rotation of the pendulum. Sensor data, using Flock of Birds™ sensors, and potentiometer data were collected simultaneously during dynamic pendulum motion at two transmitter distances and then were compared. The results showed excellent trial-to-trial repeatability of 2% or better for the sensors, and high correlations between the sensor and potentiometer data. RMS errors range from about 3 to 10 mm depending on the angular velocity of the pendulum. Angular errors were less than 1 degree RMS for all speeds.

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Helga T. Tucci, Lilian R. Felicio, Kevin J. McQuade, Debora Bevilaqua-Grossi, Paula Maria Ferreira Camarini and Anamaria S. Oliveira

Context:

The closed kinetic chain upper-extremity stability (CKCUES) test is a functional test for the upper extremity performed in the push-up position, where individuals support their body weight on 1 hand placed on the ground and swing the opposite hand until touching the hand on the ground, then switch hands and repeat the process as fast as possible for 15 s.

Objective:

To study scapular kinematic and kinetic measures during the CKCUES test for 3 different distances between hands.

Design:

Experimental.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

30 healthy individuals (15 male, 15 female).

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants performed 3 repetitions of the test at 3 distance conditions: original (36 in), interacromial, and 150% interacromial distance between hands. Participants completed a questionnaire on pain intensity and perceived exertion before and after the procedures. Scapular internal/external rotation, upward/downward rotation, and posterior/anterior tilting kinematics and kinetic data on maximum force and time to maximum force were measured bilaterally in all participants. Percentage of body weight on upper extremities was calculated. Data analyses were based on the total numbers of hand touches performed for each distance condition, and scapular kinematics and kinetic values were averaged over the 3 trials. Scapular kinematics, maximum force, and time to maximum force were compared for the 3 distance conditions within each gender. Significance level was set at α = .05.

Results:

Scapular internal rotation, posterior tilting, and upward rotation were significantly greater in the dominant side for both genders. Scapular upward rotation was significantly greater in original distance than interacromial distance in swing phase. Time to maximum force in women was significantly greater in the dominant side.

Conclusion:

CKCUES test kinematic and kinetic measures were not different among 3 conditions based on distance between hands. However, the test might not be suitable for initial or mild-level rehabilitation due to its challenging requirements.