[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing interest in rodent models for movement disorders has led to an increasing need for more accurate and precise methods for both delineating the nature of abnormal movements and measuring their severity. These studies describe application of simultaneous high-speed video kinematics with multichannel electromyography (EMG) to characterize the movement disorder exhibited by tottering mutant mice. These mice provide a uniquely valuable model, because they exhibit paroxysmal dystonia superimposed on mild baseline ataxia, permitting the examination of these two different problems within the same animals. At baseline with mild ataxia, the mutants exhibited poorly coordinated movements with increased variation of stance and swing times, and slower spontaneous walking velocities. The corresponding EMG showed reduced mean amplitudes of biceps femoris and vastus lateralis, and poorly modulated EMG activities during the step cycle. Attacks of paroxysmal dystonia were preceded by trains of EMG bursts with doublets and triplets simultaneously in the biceps femoris and vastus lateralis followed by more sustained coactivation. These EMG characteristics are consistent with the clinical phenomenology of the motor phenotype of tottering mice as a baseline of mild ataxia with intermittent attacks of paroxysmal dystonia. The EMG characteristics of ataxia and dystonia in the tottering mice also are consistent with EMG studies of other ataxic or dystonic animals and humans. These studies provide insights into how these methods can be used for delineating movement disorders in mice and for how they may be compared with similar disorders of humans.
Movement Disorders 02/2010; 25(3):265-74. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human gait patterns differ considerably between the sexes. Therefore sex specific trunk muscle activation patterns can be expected. Healthy volunteers of both sexes (51 women, 55 men) walked on a treadmill at speeds from 2 to 6 km/h. Surface electormyography was recorded from five pairs of trunk muscles. Grand averaged root mean square (rms) curves and amplitude normalised curves were calculated. Mean amplitudes and relative amplitudes were calculated as well. Mean amplitudes as well as relative amplitude levels were not generally sex specific, but differed for single muscles. Grand averaged rms curves of all investigated muscles differed between sexes. At low walking speeds, differences mostly originated from mean amplitude level differences, alternating between sexes. At higher walking speeds, amplitude curves became more phasic, differences again alternated between sexes. Therefore, trunk muscle co-ordination during gait is sex-specific. Any interpretation of trunk muscle co-ordination patterns during gait requires sex specific normatives.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Investigations of trunk muscle activation during gait are rare in the literature. As yet, the small body of literature on trunk muscle activation during gait does not include any systematic study on the influence of walking speed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze trunk muscle activation patterns at different walking speeds. Fifteen healthy men were investigated during walking on a treadmill at speeds of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 km/h. Five trunk muscles were investigated using surface EMG (SEMG). Data were time normalized according to stride time and grand averaged SEMG curves were calculated. From these data stride characteristics were extracted: mean SEMG amplitude, minimum SEMG level and the variation coefficient (VC) over the stride period. With increasing walking speed, muscle activation patterns remained similar in terms of phase dependent activation during stride, but mean amplitudes increased generally. Phasic activation, indicated by VC, increased also, but remained almost unchanged for the back muscles (lumbar multifidus and erector spinae) between 4 and 6 km/h. During stride, minimum amplitude reached a minimum at 4 km/h for the back muscles, but for internal oblique muscle it decreased continuously from 2 to 6 km/h. Cumulative sidewise activation of all investigated muscles reached maximum amplitudes during the contralateral heel strike and propulsion phases. The observed changes argue for a speed dependent modulation of activation of trunk muscles within the investigated range of walking speeds prior to strictly maintaining certain activation characteristics for all walking speeds.
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 05/2007; 17(2):245-52. · 1.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mouse models are increasingly used in current research on motor disorders. In mice, the myoelectrical activation of thigh muscles during locomotion has not yet, however, been investigated in depth. Especially intramuscular coordination has hardly been clarified. Therefore, the aims of this study were to characterize myoelectrical activity in the vastus lateralis (VL) and the biceps femoris (BF) muscle of the healthy mouse for reference purposes. The VL and the BF muscles of 12 healthy mice performing a total of 1985 steps during treadmill locomotion were investigated with two subcutaneous arrays each incorporating four electrodes. Eight-channel EMG was recorded simultaneously with high-speed videography. The EMG curves of each step were rectified and smoothed by calculating root mean square (RMS) profiles and then time-normalized for comparisons within and between animals. The EMG-activity of both muscles increased during late swing phase. The VL activity rose steeply and peaked during mid-stance phase, while the biceps activity reached a plateau during early stance phase. With increasing gait velocity, stance time decreased. The increase in gait velocity was also associated with greater EMG amplitudes. The results suggest that the BF lifts the lower hind leg during swing phase and stabilizes the leg during stance, while the VL bears the weight of the body during the stance phase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Investigations of back muscle fatigue are important for understanding the role of muscle strain in the development of low back pain. The aim of this contribution is to review the two main techniques used for in vivo investigations of metabolic and electrophysiological changes, namely magnetic resonance phosphorous spectroscopy ((31)P MRS) and surface electromyography (SEMG), and to report some of our recent results on simultaneous measurements using these techniques during isometric back-muscle contraction in volunteers. Since it appears that electrophysiological and metabolic factors are simultaneously involved in the processes of fatigue and muscle recovery during load application, simultaneous acquisition of complete information is quite promising for obtaining new insights into the metabolic origin of electrophysiological changes or vice versa. Performing these measurements simultaneously, however, is more intricate owing to the occurrence of signal artifacts caused by mutual signal interferences of both techniques. Besides these mutual disturbances, further experimental difficulties are related to spatial limitations within the bore of clinical whole-body high-field magnetic resonance (MR) systems (1.5 T) and the sensitivity of MR measurements to motion-induced artifacts. Our own experimental results are presented, and problems that occur using both techniques simultaneously, as well as possibilities to resolve them, are discussed. The results shed light on the interrelation of electrophysiological and metabolic changes during fatigue of the back muscle while performing an exercise.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low back pain costs billions of Euros annually in all industrialized countries. Often radiological diagnosis fails to give evidence of the pathogenesis of low back pain. Although psychophysiological characteristics have an influence, it seems that insufficient muscular spinal stabilization may play the major role in the development of low back pain. Assessment of trunk muscle stabilization activity during everyday activities is rare. Therefore, in this study healthy persons were investigated during walking on a treadmill at a speed of 4 km/h. Women (n = 16) with no history of back pain were investigated before and after a static loading situation of the spine, i.e. while wearing a waistcoat. After this loading situation four women developed pain (pain subjects). Surface EMG (SEMG) was taken from five trunk muscles of both sides. Grand averaged amplitude curves over stride, amplitude normalized curves and variation between all included strides were calculated for all muscles and subjects, respectively. The normal range of all calculated parameters was defined within the span between the 5th and the 95th percentiles of all pain free subjects. Data were evaluated according to deviations from the normal range. Already before the load situation, pain subjects showed considerable deviations from the normal range, mainly of their abdominal muscles. There was no relationship between magnitude of deviation and pain intensity, but perceived exertion was highest in those subjects who showed the most symptoms in terms of number of muscles being identified as considerably deviating from the normal range. No specific "dysfunction pattern" could be identified, which argues for highly individual mechanisms instead of a single target muscle. The results suggest cumulative effects of different disturbance levels resulting in acute back pain. Since deviations could be identified already before the pain occurred, disturbed muscle function seems to be a risk factor for developing back pain. Further investigations aimed at clear identification of and, as a second step, correction of muscle function are necessary.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The results of most reported studies show differences between the muscular activity of low back pain patients and healthy subjects, but the focus has usually been on trunk muscles only, and they have not involved work-related tests or exercises. The reintegration of chronic low back pain patients to job market is a common problem. Therefore assessment systems like the functional capacity evaluation (FCE) according to Isernhagen [S.J. Isernhagen, Work Injury: Management and Prevention, Aspen Publishers Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, 1988] are often used tools to determine the physical abilities and deficits of long-time incapacitated persons. The aim of the present study was to compare the healthy persons and chronic low back pain patients in performing a FCE-test and to analyse their muscular activation and motion patterns. The results indicate differences in the activation patterns of the groups in the test task "floor to waist lift" common in many occupations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For the prevention and rehabilitation of low back pain the understanding muscle function in the low back region is essential. Important aspects of function include the muscle activation patterns and muscle fatigue. In the low back region m. erector spinae plays a critical role. The different parts of this muscle complex differ considerably in function. Following the concept of Bergmark [A. Bergmark, Stability of the lumbar spine, Acta Orthop. Scand. 60 (1989) 1-54] trunk muscles can be divided in two subsystems, the global-mobilizing-system and the local-stabilizing-system. At present the multifidus muscles are assigned to the local whereas the longissimus and iliocostalis muscles are assigned to the global system. From results of the four parts of our investigation, it can be shown that essential information about muscle function can be obtained by spectral and intra- as well as inter-muscular surface EMG parameters. Obtained data demonstrated functional transitions between the local and global system of trunk muscles for the multifidus muscle.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface EMG (SEMG) as non-invasive method is a valuable tool in functional studies of movement co-ordination. The interpolation of the SEMG power (EMG mapping) gives information about intra- and inter-muscular co-ordination. It has been shown that SEMG maps of low back pain patients and healthy subjects differ. The only major drawback to SEMG is that volume conduction of muscle tissue, fat, and skin decreases the spatial and temporal resolution of signals. To improve the interpretation of SEMG signals, we have applied high pass filtering of cross covariance functions, which has proved to be useful in increasing the spatial resolution, to SEMG data of the back region. Experimental data demonstrate that SEMG signals from the back extensors show only rarely signs of action potential propagation. This behaviour, also described in the literature, can be explained by a model assuming short, deep muscle fibres, having bipolar end effects, with overlapping positions parallel to the fibre direction. This condition is fulfilled by the mm. multifidii et rotatores which are part of the m. erector spinae. Although the model is simplistic, the agreement between simulations and experiments is good.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mice a new method for 2x4-channel surface electromyography (EMG) recordings of the vastus lateralis and biceps femoris muscles during locomotion on a treadmill with varying speed is presented. The approach involves high-speed-videography (sampling interval 2.5 ms) in concert with the application of chronically implanted surface EMG multi-electrodes (EMG sampling rate 4000 Hz, frequency range 10-700 Hz). The recordings are started 2 days after surgery and finished 2 weeks after surgery. During the whole investigation period EMG recordings of both muscles have been possible. The monopolar EMG activities recorded by the electrode-arrays and the bipolar EMG signals derived from the monopolar activities permit an evaluation of the extent of myo-electrical activation in larger regions of both muscles and co-ordination between the flexor and extensor muscles. Bipolar EMG signals indicate propagation of activities along the muscle fibers and a slight effect of non-propagating signal components. Thus, the cross talk between these muscles is small and does not influence the evaluation of the EMG results. The resolution of the simultaneously recorded synchronized data allows a precise temporal correlation of kinematic and EMG parameters.
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 09/2005; 146(2):174-82. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of simultaneous surface electromyography (SEMG) and 31P-MR spectroscopy (31P-MRS) measurements on the back muscle of volunteers during the performance of an isometric exercise. Six volunteers (three male, three female) performed a modified Biering-Sörensen test inside a 1.5 T MR scanner while simultaneously recording SEMG signals. A surface coil was used for 31P-MRS with a CSI sequence. Spectra were collected with a voxel resolution of 40 mm x 40 mm x 100 mm and a temporal resolution of 30 s during periods of rest, sustained muscle contraction and recovery. The duration of muscle contraction was 150 s. SEMG analysis yielded a decrease of the mean SEMG frequency of approximately 20%. The SEMG amplitudes were constant or increased up to approximately 150% during exercise. 31P-MRS showed a maximum decrease of the phosphocreatine (PCr) amplitude down to approximately 32% of its initial value. Simultaneously, a doubling of the inorganic phosphate (Pi) signal was observed. The present study demonstrates that simultaneous SEMG and 31P-MRS measurements of the back muscle are feasible during isometric exercises.
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 03/2004; 133(1-2):143-52. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increased spatial resolution in multichannel surface EMG recordings would provide new possibilities for the investigation of intermuscular and intramuscular coordination. A known analytical solution for volume conduction allows the conclusion that a high pass filtered surface electromyography (SEMG) signal contains information from a smaller environment near the recording electrode and therefore provides a higher spatial resolution.
The present paper concerns experiments on 9 subjects to measure, from the human biceps brachii muscle during static isometric contraction, using multichannel surface EMG. Cross-correlation functions between bipolar SEMG channels were calculated and high pass filtered.
The correlation peaks showed the signs of propagating action potentials. The spatial width in the direction perpendicular to the muscle fibres decreased with increasing cut-off frequency. There exists an optimal cut-off frequency, which provides the best spatial resolution. It correlates with the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer which causes a minimum depth of the active muscle fibres measured.
High pass filtered cross-covariance functions of bipolar SEMG channels have an increased spatial resolution perpendicular to the muscle fibre direction and the frequency content of the signals can potentially give an indication of the depth of the active muscle fibres.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multichannel surface EMG recordings of a multiheaded skeletal muscle during cyclic locomotion combined with cineradiography were analysed in a chronic experiment. The resulting detailed two-dimensional activation pattern from the long and lateral triceps brachii heads of the rat during treadmill locomotion were combined with gait characteristics and fibre typing of the muscle. Shortly before ground contact of the forelimb, maximum muscle activity was found in the proximal part of the long head of the muscle. During the stance phase maximum activity was observed in the proximal part of the lateral head. The frequency dependent behaviour of cross-covariance functions over both muscle heads confirmed this selective shift in activation. In the lateral triceps brachii head of the investigated rats, exclusively type II fibres were found. In the long head the frequency of type I fibres was the highest in the deep muscle layers, proximally more than distally, whereas type II fibres were dominant in more superficial muscle layers. A combination of physiological and histological findings supports an anticipating mechanism whereby fine-tuning of the vertical foot down manoeuvre is mainly achieved by the (type I fibre dominated) proximal deep compartment of the biarticular long triceps brachii head and force generation is predominantly executed by the monoarticular lateral triceps brachii head.
Experimental Brain Research 06/2001; 138(1):26-36. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multichannel surface EMG recordings of a multiheaded skeletal muscle during cyclic locomotion combined with cineradiography
were analysed in a chronic experiment. The resulting detailed two-dimensional activation pattern from the long and lateral
triceps brachii heads of the rat during treadmill locomotion were combined with gait characteristics and fibre typing of the
muscle. Shortly before ground contact of the forelimb, maximum muscle activity was found in the proximal part of the long
head of the muscle. During the stance phase maximum activity was observed in the proximal part of the lateral head. The frequency
dependent behaviour of cross-covariance functions over both muscle heads confirmed this selective shift in activation. In
the lateral triceps brachii head of the investigated rats, exclusively type II fibres were found. In the long head the frequency
of type I fibres was the highest in the deep muscle layers, proximally more than distally, whereas type II fibres were dominant
in more superficial muscle layers. A combination of physiological and histological findings supports an anticipating mechanism
whereby fine-tuning of the vertical foot down manoeuvre is mainly achieved by the (type I fibre dominated) proximal deep compartment
of the biarticular long triceps brachii head and force generation is predominantly executed by the monoarticular lateral triceps
Experimental Brain Research 04/2001; 138(1):26-36. · 2.22 Impact Factor