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Ryoji Kiyama, Kiyohiro Fukudome, Toshiki Hiyoshi, Akihide Umemoto, Yoichi Yoshimoto and Tetsuo Maeda

The aim of this study was to examine the dexterity of both lower extremities in patients with stroke. Twenty patients with stroke and 20 age-matched control subjects participated in this study. To determine the dexterity of the lower extremities, we examined the ability to control muscle force during submaximal contractions in the knee extensor muscles using a force tracking task. The root mean square errors were calculated from the difference between the target and response force. The root mean square error was significantly greater in the affected limb of patients with stroke compared with those of the unaffected limb and the control subjects, and in the unaffected limb compared with that of the control subjects. Furthermore, the root mean square error of the affected limb was related significantly to motor function as determined by Fugl-Myer assessment. These results demonstrate impairment of the dexterity of both the affected and the unaffected lower extremities in patients with stroke.

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Claudia Voelcker-Rehage and Ben Godde

We examined the effect of high frequency tactile stimulation (tHFS) on tactile and motor performance as well as tactile-motor interactions. Seventeen right-handed participants (66–78 years) underwent a pretest (tactile frequency and spatial discrimination task, manual dexterity test, and precision grip task) with their left hand, received 30 min of tHFS on the tips of their left index finger and thumb, and performed a posttest (control group: no stimulation). Results indicated an improvement in frequency and spatial discrimination in the experimental but not the control group. In the precision grip task, however, training effects as found for the control group seem to be blocked in the experimental group. For the manual dexterity task no effect was found. Our data indicate that tHFS positively influences tactile performance. Assuming tHFS-induced plastic reorganization in somatosensory cortex our results give further evidence to the notion of an interrelation between sensory and motor performance.

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Stella Maris Michaelsen, Eliane C. Magdalon and Mindy F. Levin

Decreased dexterity in chronic stroke survivors results in diminished hand use and impacts quality of life. We studied reach-and-grasp coordination and aperture scaling during reach to grasp using different grasp types and object sizes (33–55mm). Chronic stroke survivors with hand paresis and controls grasped cylinders with the whole hand or fingertips. Three stroke subjects with more severe hand paresis had disrupted reach/grasp coordination and used compensatory strategies for arm transport and/or grasping. Nine stroke subjects with less severe paresis scaled aperture to cylinder diameter (p < .001) but had slower movements, used excessive trunk movement, and had prolonged deceleration times. Relative time to maximal grip aperture (TMA) occurred earlier in stroke subjects and in both groups when grasping the small cylinder (p < .002). Despite deficits in reach and grasp, chronic stroke survivors with mild to moderate hand paresis may retain grip aperture scaling to object size for different grasp types.

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Geoffrey D. Broadhead and Gable E. Church

Intact classes of mentally retarded and nonhandicapped children were administered the Physical Dexterity scales of the System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment and the short form of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. Separate discriminant analyses of each data set revealed that the subjects comprised four distinct levels of motor performance. Although overall predicted correct classification was above 65%, misclassifications occurred in each class. Differences resulting from the separate analyses suggest differential program placement for physical education. There is a tendency for the Physical Dexterity data to predict higher levels of motor functioning than the Motor Proficiency data for half of the mentally retarded children.

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Halla B. Olafsdottir, Sun Wook Kim, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and Mark L. Latash

We tested the ability of healthy elderly persons to use anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs) prior to a self-triggered perturbation of one of the fingers during a multifinger force production task. An index of a force-stabilizing synergy was computed reflecting covariation of commands to fingers. The subjects produced constant force by pressing with the four fingers of the dominant hand on force sensors against constant upwardly directed forces. The middle finger could be unloaded either by the subject pressing the trigger or unexpectedly by the experimenter. In the former condition, the synergy index showed a drop (interpreted as ASA) prior to the time of unloading. This drop started later and was smaller in magnitude as compared with ASAs reported in an earlier study of younger subjects. At the new steady state, a new sharing pattern of the force was reached. We conclude that aging is associated with a preserved ability to explore the flexibility of the mechanically redundant multifinger system but a decreased ability to use feed-forward adjustments to self-triggered perturbations. These changes may contribute to the documented drop in manual dexterity with age.

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Ulla Lahtinen, Pauli Rintala and Antero Malin

Physical performance of Finnish adolescents (33 females, 44 males) with moderate intellectual disability (ID) was studied over a 30-year period. This study is an extension of Lahtinen’s previous work on documenting the performance of individuals with intellectual disabilities over time. This study consisted of analyzing data from a total of four data collection periods (1973, 1979, 1996, and 2003 in which participants ranged in age from 11-16, 17-22, 34-39 and 41-46 years old, respectively). Improvement from early to late adolescence, and decline during adulthood in abdominal strength/endurance, static balance, and manual dexterity were identified. The male adults with ID were moderately overweight (BMI), but the females with ID were obese. The IQ effect was significant on balance and manual dexterity. The gender differences in adulthood were significant, but differences were not noted for Down syndrome when controlling for IQ.

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and Slope Grip in Rock Climbing Andreas Schweizer * Robert Hudek * 5 2011 27 2 116 121 10.1123/jab.27.2.116 The Loss of Dexterity in the Bilateral Lower Extremities in Patients With Stroke Ryoji Kiyama * Kiyohiro Fukudome * Toshiki Hiyoshi * Akihide Umemoto * Yoichi Yoshimoto * Tetsuo

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Carlo Di Brina, Roberto Averna, Paola Rampoldi, Serena Rossetti and Roberta Penge

used in research to screen children with motor coordination difficulties and definite specific motor problems. M-ABC measures different aspects of motor ability regarding three subscores: three items measure manual dexterity, two items measure ball skills, and three items measure static and dynamic

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Eva D’Hondt, Benedicte Deforche, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij and Matthieu Lenoir

The purpose of this study was to investigate gross and fine motor skill in overweight and obese children compared with normal-weight peers. According to international cut-off points for Body Mass Index (BMI) from Cole et al. (2000), all 117 participants (5–10 year) were classified as being normal-weight, overweight, or obese. Level of motor skill was assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC). Scores for balance (p < .01) and ball skills (p < .05) were significantly better in normal-weight and overweight children as compared with their obese counterparts. A similar trend was found for manual dexterity (p < .10). This study demonstrates that general motor skill level is lower in obese children than in normal-weight and overweight peers.

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Robbi Beyer

The motor proficiency of 56 boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was compared with that of 56 boys with learning disabilities (LD); both groups were divided into two age groups, 7 to 8 years and 9 to 12 years. Boys with ADHD were taking Ritalin and attending public schools. Boys with LD were medication-free and attending private schools for LD. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency–Long Form (BOTMP–LF) was used to measure balance, bilateral coordination, strength, upper limb coordination, response speed, visual-motor coordination, and upper limb speed and dexterity. MANOVA revealed significant main effects for condition and age. Subsequent univariate ANOVAs revealed (a) expected age differences on all but one item and (b) significantly poorer performance for boys with ADHD than boys with LD on all variables except balance, upper limb coordination, and response speed.