Increased antagonist muscle co-activation, seen in motor-impaired individuals, is an attempt by the neuromuscular system to provide mechanical stability by stiffening joints. The aim of this study was to investigate the co-activation pattern of the antagonist muscles of the ankle and knee joints during walking in patients with cerebellar ataxia, a neurological disease that strongly affects stability. Kinematic and electromyographic parameters of gait were recorded in 17 patients and 17 controls. Ankle and knee antagonist muscle co-activation indexes were measured throughout the gait cycle and during the sub-phases of gait. The indexes of ataxic patients were compared with those of controls and correlated with clinical and gait variables. Patients showed increased co-activity indexes of both ankle and knee muscles during the gait cycle as well as during the gait sub-phases. Both knee and ankle muscle co-activation indexes were positively correlated with disease severity, while ankle muscle co-activation was also positively correlated with stance and swing duration variability. Significant negative correlations were observed between the number of self-reported falls per year and knee muscle co-activation. The increased co-activation observed in these cerebellar ataxia patients may represent a compensatory strategy serving to reduce gait instability. Indeed, this mechanism allows patients to reduce the occurrence of falls. The need for this strategy, which results in excessive muscle co-contraction, increased metabolic costs and cartilage degeneration processes, could conceivably be overcome through the use of supportive braces specially designed to provide greater joint stability.

Lower Limb Antagonist Muscle Co-Activation and its Relationship with Gait Parameters in Cerebellar Ataxia / Mari, Silvia; Serrao, Mariano; Casali, Carlo; Carmela, Conte; Giovanni, Martino; Alberto, Ranavolo; Coppola, Gianluca; Francesco, Draicchio; Luca, Padua; Giorgio, Sandrini; Pierelli, Francesco. - In: THE CEREBELLUM. - ISSN 1473-4222. - STAMPA. - 13:2(2014), pp. 226-236. [10.1007/s12311-013-0533-4]

Lower Limb Antagonist Muscle Co-Activation and its Relationship with Gait Parameters in Cerebellar Ataxia

MARI, SILVIA;SERRAO, Mariano;CASALI, Carlo;COPPOLA, GIANLUCA;PIERELLI, Francesco
2014

Abstract

Increased antagonist muscle co-activation, seen in motor-impaired individuals, is an attempt by the neuromuscular system to provide mechanical stability by stiffening joints. The aim of this study was to investigate the co-activation pattern of the antagonist muscles of the ankle and knee joints during walking in patients with cerebellar ataxia, a neurological disease that strongly affects stability. Kinematic and electromyographic parameters of gait were recorded in 17 patients and 17 controls. Ankle and knee antagonist muscle co-activation indexes were measured throughout the gait cycle and during the sub-phases of gait. The indexes of ataxic patients were compared with those of controls and correlated with clinical and gait variables. Patients showed increased co-activity indexes of both ankle and knee muscles during the gait cycle as well as during the gait sub-phases. Both knee and ankle muscle co-activation indexes were positively correlated with disease severity, while ankle muscle co-activation was also positively correlated with stance and swing duration variability. Significant negative correlations were observed between the number of self-reported falls per year and knee muscle co-activation. The increased co-activation observed in these cerebellar ataxia patients may represent a compensatory strategy serving to reduce gait instability. Indeed, this mechanism allows patients to reduce the occurrence of falls. The need for this strategy, which results in excessive muscle co-contraction, increased metabolic costs and cartilage degeneration processes, could conceivably be overcome through the use of supportive braces specially designed to provide greater joint stability.
antagonist muscles; antagonistmuscles; cerebellar ataxia; cerebellarataxia; co-activation; gait; stability
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Lower Limb Antagonist Muscle Co-Activation and its Relationship with Gait Parameters in Cerebellar Ataxia / Mari, Silvia; Serrao, Mariano; Casali, Carlo; Carmela, Conte; Giovanni, Martino; Alberto, Ranavolo; Coppola, Gianluca; Francesco, Draicchio; Luca, Padua; Giorgio, Sandrini; Pierelli, Francesco. - In: THE CEREBELLUM. - ISSN 1473-4222. - STAMPA. - 13:2(2014), pp. 226-236. [10.1007/s12311-013-0533-4]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/536808
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