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Locomotor Adaptations During RaceRunning in People With Neurological Motor Disorders

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Nicola Theis, and Keith Davids

The aim of this study was to examine strategies to absorb impact shock during RaceRunning in participants with neurological motor disorders. For this purpose, 8 RaceRunning athletes (4 male and 4 female) voluntarily took part in the study. Each participant performed a series of 100-m sprints with a RaceRunning bike. Acceleration of the tibia and head was measured with 2 inertial measurement units and used to calculate foot-impact shock measures. Results showed that RaceRunning pattern was characterized by a lack of impact peak in foot–ground contact time and the existence of an active peak after foot contact. Due to the ergonomic properties of the RaceRunning bike, shock is attenuated throughout the stance phase. In conclusion, the results revealed that RaceRunning athletes with neurological motor disorders are capable of absorbing impact shock during assisted RaceRunning using a strategy that mimics runners without disabilities.

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Effects of Motor Learning Interventions on Walking Performance and Physical Function in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Nicolas Farina, and Shahab Parvonpour

Older adults with cognitive impairment have deficits in executive systems that affect their gait automaticity. The aim of the meta-analysis and systematic review was to examine the effects of interventions focus on only motor learning principles on gait performance and physical functions (e.g., dynamic balance). After inspections of 879 articles, 11 relevant studies were selected for systematic review and meta-analysis. The PEDro scale and Modified Downs and Black checklist were used to assess the quality of studies, and a random-effect model was used at a 95% confidence interval for calculating pooled effect sizes. The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis showed that motor learning interventions increased gait speed, cadence, stride length, and reduced gait cognitive cost but did not affect gait variability and physical function. In conclusion, practitioners should pay attention more to the potential benefits of motor learning interventions in rehabilitating older adults with cognitive impairment.

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Applying the Principles of Motor Learning in Preventative Programs of Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes: A Scoping Review

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Shahab Parvinpour, and Andrew Barnes

This study aimed to review the scope of overuse injury prevention programs in young players through the lens of application of motor learning principles. From 280 studies found in the initial search, 13 studies were selected based on a series of inclusion criteria. The selected studies were categorized based on the type of intervention resulting in multicomponent (two studies), Fédération Internationale de Football Association 11+ (five studies), neuromuscular training (two studies), Fédération Internationale de Football Association Medical Assessment and Research Center (two studies), educational (one study), and stability (one study). The studies that had an effective preventative role to reduce overuse injuries applied some principles of motor learning to their intervention, such as contextual interference, variability of practice, task constraints, the power law of practice, transfer of learning, and explicit methods. There is a gap in the literature related to explicit applications of motor learning principles in the design of preventative interventions for overuse injury.

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Effect of Motor Development Levels on Kinematic Synergies During Two-Hand Catching in Children

Marzie Balali, Shahab Parvinpour, and Mohsen Shafizadeh

The ability to coordinate different body parts under different constraints that are imposed by organism, environment, and tasks during motor development might be different in children. The aim of this study was to examine whether children with different motor development levels are different with regard to multijoint coordination during two-hand catching. Eighty-four children (age: 6.05 ±0.67 years) who were assessed on object control skills were recruited voluntarily. The biomechanical model was defined from 20 movements of seven segments (shoulders, elbows, wrists, and torso), and the principal component analysis was used to quantify the multijoint coordination and kinematic synergies during catching. The results showed that the redundancy of joints in two-hand catching is controlled by three kinematic synergies that defined the majority of the variance. The participants who were grouped based on their development levels did not show differences in the number and strength of synergies; however, they were different in the utilization of the kinematic synergies for successful catching. In conclusion, the number and the strength of the kinematic synergies during two-hand catching are not affected by the developmental levels and are related to the nature of the task.

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Effects of Sport Participation on Gait Coordination, Symmetry, and Variability in Older Adults

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Stuart Bonner, Jonathan Fraser, Shahab Parvinpour, Mohsen Shabani, and Andrew Barnes

The aim of this study was to compare the interlimb coordination, asymmetry, and variability between older adults who participated in sports (n = 25; age = 72.6 ± 6.46 years) and sedentary older adults (n = 20; age = 70.85 ± 3.82 years). The sport participants were selected from tennis and badminton clubs, whereas the sedentary participants were recruited from local community centers. The participants walked at their preferred speed in a 10-m walkway for 2 min. The interlimb coordination was measured by the phase coordination index. Other walking metrics were speed, cadence, swing time, stance time, double-support time, stride time, and swing time asymmetry. The results showed that the sport participants relative to the sedentary group had better interlimb coordination, higher walking speed and cadence, and less swing time variability. Young older adults also had a better interlimb coordination. In conclusion, the findings of this study showed that long-term participation in sports has some antiaging benefits on gait coordination and symmetry in older adults.

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Effects of Enriched Physical Activity Environments on Balance and Fall Prevention in Older Adults: A Scoping Review

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Jane Manson, Sally Fowler-Davis, Khalid Ali, Anna C. Lowe, Judy Stevenson, Shahab Parvinpour, and Keith Davids

The incidence of falling, due to aging, is related to both personal and environmental factors. There is a clear need to understand the nature of the major risk factors and design features of a safe and navigable living environment for potential fallers. The aim of this scoping review was to identify studies that have examined the effectiveness of environments, which promote physical activity and have an impact on falls prevention. Selected studies were identified and categorized into four main topics: built environment, environment modifications, enriched environments, and task constraints. The results of this analysis showed that there are a limited number of studies aiming to enhance dynamic postural stability and fall prevention through designing more functional environments. This scoping review study suggests that the design of interventions and the evaluation of an environment to support fall prevention are topics for future research.