High-density surface EMG decomposition allows for recording of motor unit discharge from proximal and distal flexion synergy muscles simultaneously in individuals with stroke

Laura C. Miller, Christopher K. Thompson, Francesco Negro, Cj Heckman, Dario Farina, Julius P A Dewald*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analysis of motor unit discharge can provide insight into the neural control of movement in healthy and pathological states, but it is typically completed in one muscle at a time. For some research investigations, it would be advantageous to study motor unit discharge from multiple muscles simultaneously. One such example is investigation of the flexion synergy, an abnormal muscle co-activation pattern in post-stroke individuals in which activation of shoulder abductors is involuntarily coupled with that of elbow and finger flexors. However, limitations in available technology have hindered the ability to efficiently extract motor unit discharge from multiple muscles simultaneously. In this study, we propose the use of high-density surface EMG decomposition from proximal and distal flexion synergy muscles (deltoid, biceps, wrist/finger flexors) in combination with an isometric joint torque recording device in individuals with chronic stroke. This innovative approach provides the ability to efficiently analyze both motor units and joint torques that have been simultaneously recorded from the shoulder, elbow, and fingers. In preliminary experiments, 3 stroke and 5 control participants generated shoulder abduction, elbow flexion, and finger flexion torques at 10, 20, 30 and 40% of maximum torque. Motor unit spike trains could be extracted from all muscles at each torque level. Mean motor unit firing rates were significantly lower in the stroke group than in the control group for all three muscles. Within the stroke group, wrist/finger flexor motor units had the lowest coefficient of variation. Additionally, modulation of mean firing rates across torque levels was significantly impaired in all three paretic muscles. The implications of these findings and overall impact of this approach are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages5340-5344
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781424479290
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2014
Event2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 26 2014Aug 30 2014

Other

Other2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period8/26/148/30/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)

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    Miller, L. C., Thompson, C. K., Negro, F., Heckman, C., Farina, D., & Dewald, J. P. A. (2014). High-density surface EMG decomposition allows for recording of motor unit discharge from proximal and distal flexion synergy muscles simultaneously in individuals with stroke. In 2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014 (pp. 5340-5344). [6944832] Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2014.6944832