Navigation Links
MIT: Muscle 'synergies' may be key to stroke treatment

What's new: Researchers at MIT and San Camillo Hospital in Venice, Italy, have shown that motor impairments in stroke patients can be understood as impairments in specific combinations of muscle activity, known as synergies.

Why it matters: Previous work in animals and humans has shown that groups of muscles tend to be co-activated as a unit in predicable patterns, or synergies, across a wide range of movements. These synergies are thought to represent the fundamental building blocks from which the brain constructs complex movements. The new findings support this concept and also suggest new approaches to the rehabilitation of stroke patients. Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, with about 700,000 new or recurrent cases each year.

How they did it: The researchers, led by Emilio Bizzi, an MIT Institute Professor and a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, used electromyographic (EMG) recording to measure activity in arm and shoulder muscles of eight stroke patients as they performed a variety of reaching movements. The patients had stroke damage in one cortical hemisphere only, so one arm was impaired while the other was largely unaffected. The researchers used computational methods to identify groups of muscles whose activation was correlated across movements. In seven out of eight patients, these correlations, or synergies, were largely identical between the affected and unaffected arms, even though the actual movements were very different between the two arms. The results support the view that the synergies are encoded in the brainstem or spinal cord, areas that were unaffected in these patients. "We show that descending neural signals from the motor cortex select, activate and combine a small number of muscle synergies specified by networks in the spinal cord or brainstem," Bizzi explains, "and different movements emerge as these synergies are recruited to various degrees."

Next steps: The findings suggest a new approach to the rehabilitation of stroke patients. By identifying synergies whose activations are affected following a stroke, it may be possible to develop focused rehabilitation methods that specifically train the impaired synergies. As a first step toward this goal, the researchers plan to monitor a group of stroke patients as they undergo rehabilitation therapy, to determine whether the post-stroke improvements in motor function can be explained as changes in the activation pattern of specific synergies.


Contact: Jen Hirsch
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Related medicine news :

1. Insulin boost restores muscle growth in elderly
2. New research provides new insight into age-related muscle decline
3. To regenerate muscle, cellular garbage men must become builders
4. Max Muscle Franchising Is Fueled By The Passion Behind The Brand
5. Muscle: Hard to build, easy to lose as you age
6. Women with strong thigh muscles protected from symptomatic knee osteoarthritis
7. For Healthy Aging, Maintaining Muscle is a Must
8. Muscle Density Linked to Disability
9. Bally Total Fitness Flexes Fundraising Muscle to Fight ALS
10. Gene Mutation Is Linked to Heart Muscle Disease
11. Max Muscle Sports Nutrition Answers Call For Safe Science-Based Weight Loss
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of ... award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , ... Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance ... and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, ... Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new ... the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... a startling report released today, National Safety Council research ... proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... contains up to date financial data derived from varied research ... trends with potential impact on the market during the next ... which comprises of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: