Article

Non-invasive assessment of single motor unit mechanomyographic response and twitch force by spike-triggered averaging

Dipartimento di Elettronica, Laboratorio di Ingegneria del Sistema Neuromuscolare, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing (Impact Factor: 1.73). 08/2004; 42(4):496-501. DOI: 10.1007/BF02350990
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

A method for non-invasive assessment of single motor unit (MU) properties from electromyographic (EMG), mechanomyographic (MMG) and force signals is proposed. The method is based on the detection and classification of single MU action potentials from interference multichannel surface EMG signals and on the spike-triggered average of the MMG (detected by an accelerometer) and force signals. The first dorsal interosseous (FDI) and abductor digiti minimi (ADM) muscles were investigated at contraction levels of 2% and 5% of the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) force. A third contraction was performed by selective activation of a single MU with surface MU action potential visual feedback provided to the subject. At 5% MVC, the mean (+/-standard error) single MU MMG peak-to-peak value was 11.0+/-1.8 mm s(-2) (N= 17) and 32.3+/-6.5 mm s(-2) (N=20) for the FDI and ADM muscles, respectively. The peak of the twitch force was, at the same contraction level, 7.41+/-1.34 mN and 14.42+/-2.92 mN, for the FDI and ADM muscles, respectively. The peak-to-peak value of the MMG was significantly different for the same MU at different contraction levels, indicating a non-linear summation of the single MU contributions. For the FDI muscle, the MMG peak-to-peak value of individual MUs was 21.5+/-7.8 mm s(-2), when such MUs were activated with visual feedback provided to the subject, whereas, for the same MUs, it was 11.8+/-3.8 mm s(-2), when the subject maintained a constant force level of 2% MVC. The method proposed allows the non-invasive assessment of single MU membrane and contractile properties during voluntary contractions.

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    • "Previous studies (Esposito et al., 1998; Itoh et al., 2004; Madeleine etal., 2002; Mamaghani etal., 2002; Orizio, 1992; Orizio et al., 1992; Wee and Ashley, 1989; Weir et al., 2000) have examined the patterns of responses for MMG MPF or median frequency during sustained isometric muscle actions. It has been suggested that changes in the shape of the power density spectrum of the MMG signal provide qualitative information regarding the global firing rate ofthe activated motor units (Barry et al., 1985; Beck et al., 2007; Cescon et al., 2004; Orizio, 1992; Orizio et al., 1996). That is, a change (increase or decrease) in global firing rate is associated with a concomitant change in MMG MPF (Beck et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Theoretically, the critical torque (CT), electromyographic mean power frequency fatigue threshold (EMG MPF(FT)), and mechanomyographic mean power frequency fatigue threshold (MMG MPF(FT)) describe the maximal non-fatiguing isometric torque level. The purposes of this study were threefold: (1) to determine if the mathematical model for estimating the EMG MPF(FT) during isometric muscle actions of the leg extensors was applicable to isometric muscle actions of the forearm flexors; (2) to determine if the mathematical model for estimating the EMG MPF(FT) from the frequency of the EMG signal was applicable to the frequency domain of the MMG signal to estimate a new fatigue threshold called the mechanomyographic mean power frequency fatigue threshold (MMG MPF(FT)); and (3) to compare the mean torque levels derived from the CT, EMG MPF(FT), and MMG MPF(FT) tests during isometric forearm flexion muscle actions. Ten adults (4 men and 6 women, mean ± SD; age = 22.0 ± 2.1 years) performed three or four continuous, fatiguing, isometric muscle actions of the forearm flexors at 30, 45, 60, and 75% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) to determine the time to exhaustion (T(lim)) values. The slope coefficient of the linear relationship between total isometric "work" (W(lim) in Nms=torque × T(lim)) and T(lim) was defined as the CT. Surface EMG and MMG signals were recorded from the biceps brachii muscle during each fatiguing isometric muscle action. The EMG and MMG MPF(FT) were defined as the y-intercepts of the isometric torque versus slope coefficient (EMG and MMG MPF versus time) plots. There were no significant differences between fatigue thresholds (CT=26.3 ± 0.8, EMG MPF(FT)=31.4 ± 4.2, and MMG MPF(FT)=29.5 ± 7.0%MVIC), and the mean torque values (Nm) from the three fatigue thresholds were significantly intercorrelated at r = 0.94-0.96. The EMG MPF(FT) test may provide a non-invasive method to examine the effects of interventions on the conduction velocity and shape of the action potential waveform. In addition, the effects of interventions on the global motor unit firing rate of the unfused, activated motor units may be examined by the non-invasive methods of the MMG MPF(FT) test.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Journal of Neuroscience Methods
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    • "Previous studies (Esposito et al., 1998; Itoh et al., 2004; Madeleine etal., 2002; Mamaghani etal., 2002; Orizio, 1992; Orizio et al., 1992; Wee and Ashley, 1989; Weir et al., 2000) have examined the patterns of responses for MMG MPF or median frequency during sustained isometric muscle actions. It has been suggested that changes in the shape of the power density spectrum of the MMG signal provide qualitative information regarding the global firing rate ofthe activated motor units (Barry et al., 1985; Beck et al., 2007; Cescon et al., 2004; Orizio, 1992; Orizio et al., 1996). That is, a change (increase or decrease) in global firing rate is associated with a concomitant change in MMG MPF (Beck et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Theoretically, the mechanomyographic (MMG) mean power frequency fatigue threshold (MMG MPF(FT)) describes the maximal isometric torque that can be maintained for an extended period of time with no change in the global firing rate of the unfused, activated motor units. The purposes of this study were twofold: (1) to determine if the mathematical model for estimating the electromyographic (EMG) MPF(FT) from the frequency of the EMG signal was applicable to the frequency domain of the MMG signal to estimate a new fatigue threshold called the MMG MPF(FT); and (2) to compare the mean torque levels derived from the MMG MPF(FT) test for the vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), and rectus femoris (RF) muscles during isometric leg extension muscle actions. Nine adults (4 men and 5 women; mean+/-S.D. age=21.6+/-1.2 years) performed three or four continuous, fatiguing, isometric muscle actions of the leg extensors at 30, 45, 60, and 75% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) to exhaustion. Surface MMG signals were recorded from the VL, VM, and RF muscles during each fatiguing isometric muscle action. The MMG MPF(FT) was defined as the y-intercept of the isometric torque versus slope coefficient (MMG MPF versus time) plot. There were no significant differences among the MMG MPF(FT) values for the VL, VM, and RF (34.8+/-23.4, 32.1+/-16.1, and 31.6+/-15.2 Nm, respectively) muscles. The MMG MPF(FT) test may provide a non-invasive method to examine the effects of various interventions on the global motor unit firing rate during isometric muscle actions.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Journal of Neuroscience Methods
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic muscle contractions have been shown to cause greater energy turnover and fatigue than static contractions performed at a corresponding force level. Therefore, we hypothesized that: (1) electro- (EMG) and mechanomyography (MMG), intramuscular pressure (IMP), and reduction in muscle oxygen tension (rTO(2)) would be larger during dynamic (DYN) than intermittent static (IST) low force contractions; and that (2) oxygen tension would remain lower in the resting periods subsequent to DYN as compared to those following IST. Eight subjects performed elbow flexions with identical time-tension products: (1) DYN as a 20 degrees elbow movement of 2 s concentric and 2 s eccentric followed by a 4 s rest; and (2) IST with a 4 s contraction followed by a 4 s rest. Each session was performed for 1 min at 10 and 20% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The force, bipolar surface EMG, MMG, IMP, rTO(2) were measured simultaneously from the biceps brachii, and the data presented as the mean values together with the standard error of the means. Comparison of the corresponding time periods showed the EMG(rms) and MMG(rms) values to be larger during DYN than IST (concentric phase: DYN vs IST were 14.2 vs 9.4, and 22.0 vs 15.9%(max)-EMG(rms); eccentric phase: in DYN, the MMG was approximately 1.5 and approximately 2.0-fold IST at 10 and 20%MVC, respectively). In contrast, the IMP of the concentric phase in DYN was lower than in IST (2.3 vs 29.5 and 10.9 vs 42.0 mmHg at 10 and 20%MVC, respectively), and a similar picture was seen for the eccentric phase. However, no differences were seen in rTO(2) in either the contraction or the rest periods. In a prolonged rest period (8 s) after the sessions, DYN but not IST showed rTO(2) above baseline level. In conclusion, rTO(2) in DYN and IST were similar in spite of major differences in the MMG and EMG responses of the muscle during contraction periods. This may relate to the surprisingly lower IMP in DYN than IST.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Arbeitsphysiologie
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