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Bert Steenbergen and Wouter Hulstijn

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Victor Spiandor Beretta, Fabio Augusto Barbieri, Diego Orcioli-Silva, Paulo Cezar Rocha dos Santos, Lucas Simieli, Rodrigo Vitório and Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi

, J.E. , & Giladi , N. ( 2004 ). Falls and freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease: A review of two interconnected, episodic phenomena . Movement Disorders, 19 ( 8 ), 871 – 884 . PubMed doi:10.1002/mds.20115 10.1002/mds.20115 Boonstra , T.A. , Schouten , A.C. , van Vugt , J.P. , Bloem

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Angela L. Ridgel, Chul-Ho Kim, Emily J. Fickes, Matthew D. Muller and Jay L. Alberts

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often experience cognitive declines. Although pharmacologic therapies are helpful in treating motor deficits in PD, they do not appear to be effective for cognitive complications. Acute bouts of moderate aerobic exercise have been shown to improve cognitive function in healthy adults. However, individuals with PD often have difficulty with exercise. This study examined the effects of passive leg cycling on executive function in PD. Executive function was assessed with Trail-Making Test (TMT) A and B before and after passive leg cycling. Significant improvements on the TMT-B test occurred after passive leg cycling. Furthermore, the difference between times to complete the TMT-B and TMT-A significantly decreased from precycling to postcycling. Improved executive function after passive cycling may be a result of increases in cerebral blood flow. These findings suggest that passive exercise could be a concurrent therapy for cognitive decline in PD.

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Richard E.A. van Emmerik and Erwin E.H. van Wegen

Current research in biology and physiology has unequivocally demonstrated the significance of variability for the optimal functioning of healthy and adaptable systems. Different pathologies are characterized by reductions in complexity of organization, often signified by loss of variability and adaptability. It is argued that the traditional perspective on biology in general and movement science in particular that tended to associate noise and variability with performance decrements and pathology is no longer tenable. Tools and methodologies that have emerged from the dynamical systems perspective to coordination and control are discussed in the context of postural control and transitions in interlimb coordination and locomotion. First, it is shown that variability can play a functional role in the detection and exploration of stability boundaries during balance control. Second, pattern transitions are characterized by increased variability in movement coordination dynamics. Under conditions of movement pathologies, such as in Parkinson’s disease, reductions in variability in coordination dynamics clearly identify movement coordination and transition problems so characteristic for these patients. It is concluded that the relation between variability and stability is complex and that variability cannot be equated with instability without knowledge of the underlying movement dynamics.

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Karen L. Schmidt, Jessie M. Van Swearingen and Rachel M. Levenstein

The context of voluntary movement during facial assessment has significant effects on the activity of facial muscles. Using automated facial analysis, we found that healthy subjects instructed to blow produced lip movements that were longer in duration and larger in amplitude than when subjects were instructed to pucker. We also determined that lip movement for puckering expressions was more asymmetric than lip movement in blowing. Differences in characteristics of lip movement were noted using facial movement analysis and were associated with the context of the movement. The impact of the instructions given for voluntary movement on the characteristics of facial movement might have important implications for assessing the capabilities and deficits of movement control in individuals with facial movement disorders. If results generalize to the clinical context, assessment of generally focused voluntary facial expressions might inadequately demonstrate the full range of facial movement capability of an individual patient.

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Martin H. Rose, Annemette Løkkegaard, Stig Sonne-Holm and Bente R. Jensen

We investigated lower-extremity isometric tremor Approximate Entropy (irregularity), torque steadiness and rate of force development (RFD) and their associations to muscle activation strategy during isometric knee extensions in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Thirteen male patients with idiopathic PD and 15 neurologically healthy matched controls performed isometric maximal contractions (extension/flexion) as well as steady submaximal and powerful isometric knee extensions. The patients with PD showed decreased isometric tremor irregularity. Torque steadiness was reduced in PD and the patients had increased muscle coactivation. A markedly lower RFD was found in PD and the decreased RFD correlated with reduced agonist muscle activation. Furthermore, patient RFD correlated with the Movement-Disorder-Society-Unified-Parkinson’s-Disease-Rating-Scale 3 (motor part) scores. We concluded that both knee isometric tremor Approximate Entropy and torque steadiness clearly differentiate between patients with PD and healthy controls. Furthermore, severely compromised RFD was found in patients with PD and was associated with decreased agonist muscle activation.

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Babett H. Lobinger, Martin K. Klämpfl and Eckart Altenmüller

Paradoxical performance can be described simply as a sudden decrease in a top athlete’s performance despite the athlete’s having striven for superior performance, such as the lost-skill syndrome in trampolining or “the yips” in golf. There is a growing amount of research on these phenomena, which resemble movement disorders. What appears to be missing, however, is a clear phenomenology of the affected movement characteristics leading to a classification of the underlying cause. This understanding may enable specific diagnostic methods and appropriate interventions. We first review the different phenomena, providing an overview of their characteristics and their occurrence in sports and describing the affected sports and movements. We then analyze explanations for the yips, the most prominent phenomenon, and review the methodological approaches for diagnosing and treating it. Finally, we present and elaborate an action theoretical approach for diagnosing paradoxical performance and applying appropriate interventions.

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Robynne M. Gravenhorst and Charles B. Walter

Apraxia is a complex movement disorder that frequently occurs following left hemisphere stroke. Studies on patients with apraxia constitute an especially interesting body of literature for motor control researchers who seek to understand the cognitive mechanisms involved in the voluntary control of movement. Reciprocally, among apraxia researchers, great interest exists concerning the ways in which methods and theory from the field of motor control can be brought to bear in the clinical and empirical evaluation of this disorder. Here we will review representative evidence on the etiology, frequency, and assessment of apraxia, and suggest how research methods and theories from the field of motor control can be applied to, and also benefit from, a deeper understanding of apraxia. Parallels are proposed between the major cognitive models of apraxia and motor control to facilitate translation of terminology and concepts, and to enrich the emerging dialogue between these two complementary research domains.

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Ross Roberts, Mike Rotheram, Ian Maynard, Owen Thomas and Tim Woodman

The present investigation examined whether perfectionism might predict whether an athlete would suffer from the ‘yips’ (a long term movement disorder consisting of involuntary movements that affects the execution of motor skills). A sample of ‘yips’-affected individuals from golf, cricket, and darts as well as a sport-matched sample of non ’yips’-affected athletes completed the shortened version of Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate’s (1990) multidimensional perfectionism scale (FMPS). Results revealed that three aspects of perfectionism (personal standards, organization, and concern over mistakes) were associated with a greater likelihood of suffering from the ‘yips’, indicating that ‘yips’ sufferers had an unhealthy perfectionism profile. The results highlight perfectionism as a possible antecedent of the ‘yips’ experience within sport.