Gradual adaptation to pelvis perturbation during walking reinforces motor learning of weight shift toward the paretic side in individuals post-stroke

Seoung Hoon Park, Chao Jung Hsu, Weena Dee, Elliot J. Roth, William Z. Rymer, Ming Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the gradual versus abrupt adaptation to lateral pelvis assistance force improves weight shift toward the paretic side and enhance forced use of the paretic leg during walking. Sixteen individuals who had sustained a hemispheric stroke participated in two experimental sessions, which consisted of (1) treadmill walking with the application of lateral pelvis assistance force (gradual vs. abrupt condition) and (2) overground walking. In the “gradual” condition, during treadmill walking, the assistance force was gradually increased from 0 to 100% of the predetermined force step by step. In the abrupt condition, the force was applied at 100% of the predetermined force throughout treadmill walking. Participants exhibited significant improvements in hip abductor and adductor, ankle dorsiflexor, and knee extensor muscle activities, weight shift toward the paretic side, and overground walking speed in the gradual condition (P < 0.05), but showed no significant changes in the abrupt condition (P > 0.20). Changes in weight shift toward the paretic side were statistically different between conditions (P < 0.001), although changes in muscle activities were not (P > 0.11). In the gradual condition, the error amplitude was proportional to the improvement in weight shift during the late post-adaptation (R2 = 0.32, P = 0.03), but not in the abrupt condition (R2 = 0.001, P = 0.93). In conclusion, the “gradual adaptation” inducing “small errors” during constraint-induced walking may improve weight shift and enhance forced use of the paretic leg in individuals post-stroke. Applying gradual pelvis assistance force during walking may be used as an intervention strategy to improve walking in individuals post-stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1701-1713
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume239
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Constraint induced movement therapy
  • Forced use
  • Locomotion
  • Motor learning
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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