Background: Information on prevalence, pathophysiology, and clinical assessment of paratonia are scarce. In a previous study, we suggested that surface electromyography (EMG) can be used to assess paratonia. Objective: To assess clinical and EMG features of paratonia in both patients with cognitive impairment and healthy subjects. Methods: We examined 18 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 21 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 30 healthy seniors (seniors), and 30 healthy juniors (juniors). Paratonia were assessed using the "Paratonia Scale". EMG bursts were recorded from biceps and triceps during manually applied passive movements of elbow joint. Continuous (sinusoidal) and discontinuous (linear) movements were applied at 2 different velocities (fast and slow). Results: In comparison to juniors, seniors had higher clinical scores. In comparison to seniors, AD had higher oppositional scores, while MCI had higher facilitatory scores. EMG activity during passive movements correlated with paratonia clinical scores, was velocity-dependent and increased with movement repetition, most effectively for sinusoidal movements. Similar EMG activity was detected in not paratonic muscles. Conclusion: Paratonia increases with normal aging and cognitive decline progression. While facilitatory paratonia is due to involuntary contraction of the shortening muscle, oppositional paratonia is due, at least partially, to involuntary contraction of the lengthening muscle. Most characteristic feature of this muscle contraction is the progressive increase with movement repetition, that helps distinguish oppositional paratonia from spasticity and rigidity. A similar EMG activity is detected in not paratonic muscles, showing that, during tone assessment, the descending motor system is incompletely inactivated also in normotonic muscles.

Electromyographic Patterns of Paratonia in Normal Subjects and in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's Disease

Marinelli, Lucio;Trompetto, Carlo;Puce, Luca;Monacelli, Fiammetta;Mori, Laura;Serrati, Carlo;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: Information on prevalence, pathophysiology, and clinical assessment of paratonia are scarce. In a previous study, we suggested that surface electromyography (EMG) can be used to assess paratonia. Objective: To assess clinical and EMG features of paratonia in both patients with cognitive impairment and healthy subjects. Methods: We examined 18 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 21 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 30 healthy seniors (seniors), and 30 healthy juniors (juniors). Paratonia were assessed using the "Paratonia Scale". EMG bursts were recorded from biceps and triceps during manually applied passive movements of elbow joint. Continuous (sinusoidal) and discontinuous (linear) movements were applied at 2 different velocities (fast and slow). Results: In comparison to juniors, seniors had higher clinical scores. In comparison to seniors, AD had higher oppositional scores, while MCI had higher facilitatory scores. EMG activity during passive movements correlated with paratonia clinical scores, was velocity-dependent and increased with movement repetition, most effectively for sinusoidal movements. Similar EMG activity was detected in not paratonic muscles. Conclusion: Paratonia increases with normal aging and cognitive decline progression. While facilitatory paratonia is due to involuntary contraction of the shortening muscle, oppositional paratonia is due, at least partially, to involuntary contraction of the lengthening muscle. Most characteristic feature of this muscle contraction is the progressive increase with movement repetition, that helps distinguish oppositional paratonia from spasticity and rigidity. A similar EMG activity is detected in not paratonic muscles, showing that, during tone assessment, the descending motor system is incompletely inactivated also in normotonic muscles.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1081676
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