Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune and neurodegenerative disease resulting in motor impairments associated with muscle weakness and lack of movement coordination. The goal of this work was to quantify upper limb motor deficits in asymptomatic MS subjects with a robot-based assessment including performance and muscle synergies analysis. A total of 7 subjects (MS: 3 M-4 F; 42 +/- 10 years) with clinically definite MS according to McDonald criteria, but with no clinical disability, and 7 age- and sex-matched subjects without a history of neurological disorders participated in the study. All subjects controlled a cursor on the computer screen by moving their hand or applying forces in 8 coplanar directions at their self-selected speed. They grasped the handle of a robotic planar manipulandum that generated four different environments: null, assistive or resistive forces, and rigid constraint. Simultaneously, the activity of 15 upper body muscles was recorded. Asymptomatic MS subjects generated less smooth and less accurate cursor trajectories than control subjects in controlling a force profile, while the end-point error was significantly different also in the other environments. The EMG analysis revealed different muscle activation patterns in MS subjects when exerting isometric forces or when moving in presence of external forces generated by a robot. While the two populations had the same number and similar structure of muscle synergies, they had different activation profiles. These results suggested that a task requiring to control forces against a rigid environment allows better than movement tasks to detect early sensory-motor signs related to the onset of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and to differentiate between stages of the disease.

Upper Limb Sensory-Motor Control During Exposure to Different Mechanical Environments in Multiple Sclerosis Subjects With No Clinical Disability

Pierella, Camilla;Inglese, Matilde;Casadio, Maura
2022-01-01

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune and neurodegenerative disease resulting in motor impairments associated with muscle weakness and lack of movement coordination. The goal of this work was to quantify upper limb motor deficits in asymptomatic MS subjects with a robot-based assessment including performance and muscle synergies analysis. A total of 7 subjects (MS: 3 M-4 F; 42 +/- 10 years) with clinically definite MS according to McDonald criteria, but with no clinical disability, and 7 age- and sex-matched subjects without a history of neurological disorders participated in the study. All subjects controlled a cursor on the computer screen by moving their hand or applying forces in 8 coplanar directions at their self-selected speed. They grasped the handle of a robotic planar manipulandum that generated four different environments: null, assistive or resistive forces, and rigid constraint. Simultaneously, the activity of 15 upper body muscles was recorded. Asymptomatic MS subjects generated less smooth and less accurate cursor trajectories than control subjects in controlling a force profile, while the end-point error was significantly different also in the other environments. The EMG analysis revealed different muscle activation patterns in MS subjects when exerting isometric forces or when moving in presence of external forces generated by a robot. While the two populations had the same number and similar structure of muscle synergies, they had different activation profiles. These results suggested that a task requiring to control forces against a rigid environment allows better than movement tasks to detect early sensory-motor signs related to the onset of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and to differentiate between stages of the disease.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2022_Upper Limb Sensory-Motor Control During Exposure to Different Mechanical Environments in Multiple Sclerosis Subjects With No Clinical Disability.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo su rivista
Tipologia: Documento in versione editoriale
Dimensione 2.7 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.7 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1103277
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact