Proprioceptive deficits are frequent and disabling symptoms of neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). These deficits are poorly understood partly because of the limited sensitivity and reproducibility of clinical measures. However, their assessment is crucial in planning and evaluating rehabilitative treatments. Therefore, we designed a device and a protocol for assessing proprioceptive deficits by evaluating the position and force control performance. We focused on bimanual tasks, as most daily life activities require the combined use of both hands while MS induces coordination problems and often affects the two arms differently. Specifically, without being able to see their arms, subjects had (1) to reach with their hands a target positions holding objects of equal or different weights; (2) to exert equal isometric forces with the two hands in upward direction against rigid constraints at the same or different heights. For a first proof of concept of the feasibility we enrolled seven MS subjects with different levels of upper limb impairment and seven sex and age matched controls. We found that the ability to exert symmetric forces with both arms was significantly altered in all MS subjects, while position control decreased only for higher level of impairment. These preliminary findings suggest that in people with MS the ability to exert bilaterally required levels of force might be affected earlier compared to the ability to control hand position.
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|Titolo:||Bimanual control of position and force in people with multiple sclerosis: Preliminary results|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.01 - Contributo in atti di convegno|