Repeated adaptation and de-adaptation to the pelvis resistance force facilitate retention of motor learning in stroke survivors

Seoung Hoon Park, Shijun Yan, Weena Dee, Renee Reed, Elliot J. Roth, William Z. Rymer, Ming Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Locomotor adaptation to novel walking patterns induced by external perturbation has been tested to enhance motor learning for improving gait parameters in individuals poststroke. However, little is known regarding whether repeated adaptation and de-adaptation to the externally perturbed walking pattern may facilitate or degrade the retention of locomotor learning. In this study, we examined whether the intermittent adaptation to novel walking patterns elicited by external perturbation induces greater retention of the adapted locomotion in stroke survivors, compared with effects of the continuous adaptation. Fifteen individuals poststroke participated in two experimental conditions consisting of 1) treadmill walking with intermittent (i.e., interspersed 2 intervals of no perturbation) or continuous (no interval) adaptation to externally perturbed walking patterns and 2) overground walking before, immediately, and 10 min after treadmill walking. During the treadmill walking, we applied a laterally pulling force to the pelvis toward the nonparetic side during the stance phase of the paretic leg to disturb weight shifts toward the paretic side. Participants showed improved weight shift toward the paretic side and enhanced muscle activation of hip abductor/adductors immediately after the removal of the pelvis perturbation for both intermittent and continuous conditions (P < 0.05) and showed longer retention of the improved weight shift and enhanced muscle activation for the intermittent condition, which transferred from treadmill to overground walking (P < 0.05). In conclusion, repeated motor adaptation and de-adaptation to the pelvis resistance force during walking may promote the retention of error-based motor learning for improving weight shift toward the paretic side in individuals poststroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1642-1654
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume127
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • intermittent adaptation
  • locomotion
  • motor learning
  • pelvis perturbation
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology

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