Brain Rehabilitation Research Center

Gainesville, FL, United States

Brain Rehabilitation Research Center

Gainesville, FL, United States
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Tennant K.A.,Institute for Neuroscience | Adkins D.L.,University of Texas at Austin | Donlan N.A.,University of Texas at Austin | Asay A.L.,University of Texas at Austin | And 5 more authors.
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2011

The organization of forelimb representation areas of the monkey, cat, and rat motor cortices has been studied in depth, but its characterization in the mouse lags far behind. We used intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) and cytoarchitectonics to characterize the general organization of the C57BL/6 mouse motor cortex, and the forelimb representation in more detail. We found that the forelimb region spans a large area of frontal cortex, bordered primarily by vibrissa, neck, shoulder, and hindlimb representations. It included a large caudal forelimb area, dominated by digit representation, and a small rostral forelimb area, containing elbow and wrist representations. When the entire motor cortex was mapped, the forelimb was found to be the largest movement representation, followed by head and hindlimb representations. The ICMS-defined motor cortex spanned cytoarchitecturally identified lateral agranular cortex (AGl) and also extended into medial agranular cortex. Forelimb and hindlimb representations extended into granular cortex in a region that also had cytoarchitectural characteristics of AGl, consistent with the primary motor-somatosensory overlap zone (OL) characterized in rats. Thus, the mouse motor cortex has homologies with the rat in having 2 forelimb representations and an OL but is distinct in the predominance of digit representations. © 2011 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Naik S.K.,University of Florida | Patten C.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Patten C.,University of Florida | Lodha N.,University of Florida | And 2 more authors.
Experimental Brain Research | Year: 2011

The aim of the study was to develop a novel approach for quantifying stair-stepping in a trajectory tracking task with the goal of understanding how age and stroke-related differences in motor control contribute to force control deficits. Nine stroke participants, nine age-matched controls, and nine young healthy adults performed an isometric gripping task while squeezing, holding, and releasing a cylindrical device. The visual tracking task involved three different rates of force production (5, 10, and 20% maximal force/s). Four outcome measures determined force control deficits: (a) root mean square error, (b) standard deviation, (c) step number, and (d) mean pause duration. Our findings indicate that step number, and especially mean pause duration, differentiated force control deficits in the three groups more effectively than the traditional root mean square error. Moreover, stroke participants showed the largest force control deficits during the grip release phase compared to age-matched and young healthy controls. Importantly, step number and mean pause duration quantified stair-stepping while measuring different constructs than root mean square error. Distinct step and duration interruptions in force modulation by persons post-stroke during the grip release phase provide new information with implications for motor recovery during rehabilitation. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Tester N.J.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Tester N.J.,University of Florida | Fuller D.D.,University of Florida | Fromm J.S.,University of Florida | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2014

Rationale: Intermittent stimulation of the respiratory system with hypoxia causes persistent increases in respiratory motor output (i.e., long-term facilitation) in animals with spinal cord injury. This paradigm, therefore, has been touted as a potential respiratory rehabilitation strategy. Objectives: To determine whether acute (daily) exposure to intermittent hypoxia can also evoke long-term facilitation of ventilation after chronic spinal cord injury in humans, and whether repeated daily exposure to intermittent hypoxia enhances the magnitude of this response. Methods: Eight individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury (>1 yr; cervical [n = 6], thoracic [n = 2]) were exposed to intermittent hypoxia (eight 2-min intervals of 8% oxygen) for 10 days. During all exposures, end-tidal carbon dioxide levels were maintained, on average, 2 mm Hg above resting values. Minute ventilation, tidal volume, and breathing frequency were measured before (baseline), during, and 30 minutes after intermittent hypoxia. Sham protocols consisted of exposure to room air and were administered to a subset of the participants (n = 4). Measurements and Main Results: Minute ventilation increased significantly for 30 minutes after acute exposure to intermittent hypoxia (P < 0.001), but not after sham exposure. However, the magnitude of ventilatory long-term facilitation was not enhanced over 10 days of intermittent hypoxia exposures. Conclusions: Ventilatory long-term facilitation can be evoked by brief periods of hypoxia in humans with chronic spinal cord injury. Thus, intermittent hypoxia may represent a strategy for inducing respiratory neuroplasticity after declines in respiratory function that are related to neurological impairment. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01272011). Copyright © 2014 by the American Thoracic Society.


Fuller D.D.,University of Florida | Lee K.-Z.,National Sun Yat - sen University | Tester N.J.,University of Florida | Tester N.J.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center
Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology | Year: 2013

The prevalence of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) following spinal cord injury (SCI) is considerably greater than in the general population. While the literature on this topic is still relatively small, and in some cases contradictory, a few general conclusions can be drawn. First, while both central and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been reported after SCI, OSA appears to be more common. Second, SDB after SCI likely reflects a complex interplay between multiple factors including body mass, lung volume, autonomic function, sleep position, and respiratory neuroplasticity. It is not yet possible to pinpoint a "primary factor" which will predispose an individual with SCI to SDB, and the underlying mechanisms may change during progression from acute to chronic injury. Given the prevalence and potential health implications of SDB in the SCI population, we suggest that additional studies aimed at defining the underlying mechanisms are warranted. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Clark D.J.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Clark D.J.,University of Florida
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2015

Automaticity is a hallmark feature of walking in adults who are healthy and well-functioning. In the context of walking, “automaticity” refers to the ability of the nervous system to successfully control typical steady state walking with minimal use of attention-demanding executive control resources. Converging lines of evidence indicate that walking deficits and disorders are characterized in part by a shift in the locomotor control strategy from healthy automaticity to compensatory executive control. This is potentially detrimental to walking performance, as an executive control strategy is not optimized for locomotor control. Furthermore, it places excessive demands on a limited pool of executive reserves. The result is compromised ability to perform basic and complex walking tasks and heightened risk for adverse mobility outcomes including falls. Strategies for rehabilitation of automaticity are not well defined, which is due to both a lack of systematic research into the causes of impaired automaticity and to a lack of robust neurophysiological assessments by which to gauge automaticity. These gaps in knowledge are concerning given the serious functional implications of compromised automaticity. Therefore, the objective of this article is to advance the science of automaticity of walking by consolidating evidence and identifying gaps in knowledge regarding: (a) functional significance of automaticity; (b) neurophysiology of automaticity; (c) measurement of automaticity; (d) mechanistic factors that compromise automaticity; and (e) strategies for rehabilitation of automaticity. © 2015 Clark.


Troche M.S.,University of Florida | Brandimore A.E.,University of Florida | Brandimore A.E.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Okun M.S.,University of Florida | And 2 more authors.
Chest | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Aspiration pneumonia is a leading cause of death in people with Parkinson disease (PD). The pathogenesis of these infections is largely attributed to the presence of dysphagia with silent aspiration or aspiration without an appropriate cough response. The goal of this study was to test reflex cough thresholds and associated urge-to-cough (UTC) ratings in participants with PD with and without dysphagia. METHODS: Twenty participants with PD were recruited for this study. They completed a capsaicin challenge with three randomized blocks of 0, 50, 100, and 200 μM capsaicin and rated their UTC by modified Borg scale. The concentration of capsaicin that elicited a two-cough response, total number of coughs, and sensitivity of the participant to the cough stimulus (UTC) were measured. The dysphagia severity of participants with PD was identified with the penetration-aspiration scale. RESULTS: Most participants with PD did not have a consistent two-cough response to 200 μM capsaicin. UTC ratings and total number of coughs produced at 200 μM capsaicin were significantly influenced by dysphagia severity but not by general PD severity, age, or disease duration. Increasing levels of dysphagia severity resulted in significantly blunted cough sensitivity (UTC). CONCLUSIONS: UTC ratings may be important in understanding the mechanism underlying morbidity related to aspiration pneumonia in people with PD and dysphagia. Further understanding of decreased UTC in people with PD and dysphagia will be essential for the development of strategies and treatments to address airway protection deficits in this population. © 2014 American College of Chest Physicians.


Clark D.J.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Clark D.J.,University of Florida | Fielding R.A.,Tufts University
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2012

Background. Declines in skeletal muscle mass and quality are important factors contributing to age-related weakness. Neural activation of agonist and antagonist muscles may also be important contributing factors. Methods. We conducted a review of the scientific literature on older adults to determine (a) methodologies used to quantify activation, (b) the potential role of agonist and antagonist activation on weakness, and (c) some possible neurophysiological mechanisms that may underlie impaired activation. Results. The cumulative evidence indicates that agonist activation is impaired in some, but not all, older adults and that this impairment contributes to age-related weakness. It is possible that antagonist coactivation also plays a role in age-related weakness, though a definitive link has not been established. Conclusion. Future research should focus on improving quantitative measurement and mechanistic understanding of impaired activation with aging. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America 2011.2012 © Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America 2011. © 2011 The Author.


Bowden M.G.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Bowden M.G.,University of Florida | Clark D.J.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Kautz S.A.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Kautz S.A.,University of Florida
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair | Year: 2010

Background. Assessment of poststroke motor impairment has historically focused on the ability to move within and outside of abnormal synergistic motor patterns and is typically quantified by the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA). However, it is unclear if the voluntary, isolated movement tasks of the FMA are appropriate for evaluating walking task-specific motor control requirements because walking is cyclical and involves considerable sensorimotor integration. Objective. The purpose of this study is to test whether the motor impairment measured by the FMA is indicative of motor dysfunction during walking in poststroke adults. Methods. Thirty-four individuals with chronic poststroke hemiparesis and 17 healthy controls walked for 60 seconds on an instrumented treadmill while recording electromyographic activity (EMG) from 8 lower extremity muscles. EMG recordings were also obtained during the FMA for those with hemiparesis to examine muscle activation patterns. Each participant was examined with a battery of walking-specific clinical and biomechanical assessment tools and stratified based on the FMA synergy (FMS) score. To further quantify muscle activation patterns during walking, a nonnegative matrix factorization (NNMF) determined the number of independent modules required to describe 90% of the total variance in the EMG patterns. Results. Stratification poorly differentiated motor activation across FMA tasks as well as EMG patterns during walking. While FMS correlated with 2 of 6 walking assessments, the number of EMG modules significantly correlated with all 6 walking performance measures. Conclusions. Voluntary, discrete activities as performed in the FMA may be inadequate to capture the complex motor behavior in walking. Conversely, walking-specific evaluations such as NNMF appear more appropriate. © The Author(s) 2010.


Allen J.L.,University of Texas at Austin | Kautz S.A.,Brain Rehabilitation Research Center | Kautz S.A.,Medical University of South Carolina | Neptune R.R.,University of Texas at Austin
Gait and Posture | Year: 2011

Post-stroke hemiparetic subjects walk with asymmetrical step lengths that are highly variable between subjects and may be indicative of the underlying impairments and compensatory mechanisms used. The goal of this study was to determine if post-stroke hemiparetic subjects grouped by step length asymmetry have similar abnormal walking biomechanics compared to non-impaired walkers. Kinematic and ground reaction force data were recorded from 55 hemiparetic subjects walking at their self-selected speed and 21 age and speed-matched non-impaired control subjects. Hemiparetic subjects were grouped by paretic step ratio, which was calculated as the paretic step-length divided by the sum of paretic and nonparetic step-lengths, into high (>0.535), symmetric (0.535-0.465) and low (<0.465) groups. Non-parametric Wilcoxin signed-rank tests were used to test for differences in joint kinetic measures between hemiparetic groups and speed-matched control subjects during late single-leg stance and pre-swing. The paretic leg ankle moment impulse was reduced in all hemiparetic subjects regardless of their paretic step ratio. The high group had increased nonparetic leg ankle plantarflexor and knee extensor moment impulses, the symmetric group had increased hip flexor moment impulses on both the paretic and nonparetic leg and the low group had no additional significant differences in joint moment impulses. These results suggest that the direction of asymmetry can be used to identify both the degree of paretic plantarflexor impairment and the compensatory mechanisms used by post-stroke hemiparetic subjects. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Kautz S.A.,Medical University of South Carolina | Kautz S.A.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | Bowden M.G.,Medical University of South Carolina | Bowden M.G.,Ralph hnson Va Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair | Year: 2011

Background. Force-sensing split-belt treadmills (TMs) provide an alternative to the conventional overground (OG) setting and allow new avenues for analyzing the biomechanics and motor control of walking. However, walking control may differ on a TM compared with walking OG. Objective. To compare spatiotemporal, kinematic, and EMG-based measures of motor control between TM and OG walking at self-selected and fastest comfortable speeds in persons with poststroke hemiparesis. Methods. Individuals with chronic hemiparesis (56) and similarly aged healthy individuals (17) walked over an instrumented walkway and on an instrumented split-belt TM; 16 channels of EMG recorded bilateral muscle activity, and a 12-camera motion capture system collected bilateral 3D kinematics. The authors applied a nonnegative matrix factorization (NNMF) algorithm to examine the underlying patterns of motor control. Results. Self-selected walking patterns differed on the TM versus OG in controls: speed decreased, stride length decreased, stance percentage increased, and double-support percentage increased. Poststroke, responses were similar, but cadence also decreased, and step length asymmetry increased. Kinematic patterns were similar except those associated with slower walking speeds. NNMF demonstrated similar EMG variance in the 2 environments. Conclusion. Persons, both healthy and poststroke, walk with different gait parameters on the TM. Although measures of motor control were mostly similar between the 2 environments, the TM induced step length asymmetry in 30% of participants (60% of whom took longer paretic steps). TM walking, therefore, is a valid method for detecting motor control deficits. © 2011 American Society of Neurorehabilitation.

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