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Biomechanical Characterization of the Stretch Reflex Activity as an Approach to Spasticity Measurement and Modeling-A pilot study

Lookup NU author(s): Jose Salazar Torres, Dr Anand Pandyan, Dr Christopher Price, Robert Davidson, Professor Michael Barnes, Professor Garth Johnson


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Spasticity is a clinical condition that may develop in people with central nervous system injuries. It is believed that spasticity results from changes in the excitability of the stretch reflex pathways manifesting clinically as a velocity dependent increase in resistance to passive movement (RTPM) and exaggerated tendon jerks. A biomechanical device was designed to provide a 90 ms torque controlled stretch to the biceps brachii. The stretch reflex response was recorded using surface electromyography and angular displacement with a potentiometer. A pilot study was carried out in four stroke and one non-impaired volunteers. Four different magnitudes of torque were applied to the elbow. Stretch reflex characterisation was done on EMG data collected 150 ms before and to complete 450 ms after the perturbation. The outcome measures were the range of movement, the amplitude of the rectified reflex response and, the latency, rise time and duration of the smoothed reflex response. The reflex in the stroke patients was not significantly different from normals (p>0.10). The mechanical model developed suggest that changes in reflex excitability may not necessarily contribute to joint stiffness (r2>0.9).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Salazar-Torres JDJ; Johnson GR; Pandyan AD; Davidson RI; Barnes MP; Price CIM

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of the 25th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Year of Conference: 2003

Pages: 1491-1494

ISSN: 1094-687X

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/IEMBS.2003.1279622

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 0780377893