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Probing Corticospinal Control During Different Locomotor Tasks Using Detailed Time-Frequency Analysis of Electromyograms


Filli, Linard; Meyer, Christian; Killeen, Tim; Lörincz, Lilla; Göpfert, Beat; Linnebank, Michael; von Tscharner, Vinzenz; Curt, Armin; Bolliger, Marc; Zörner, Björn (2019). Probing Corticospinal Control During Different Locomotor Tasks Using Detailed Time-Frequency Analysis of Electromyograms. Frontiers in Neurology, 10:17.

Abstract

Locomotion relies on the fine-tuned coordination of different muscles which are controlled by particular neural circuits. Depending on the attendant conditions, walking patterns must be modified to optimally meet the demands of the task. Assessing neuromuscular control during dynamic conditions is methodologically highly challenging and prone to artifacts. Here we aim at assessing corticospinal involvement during different locomotor tasks using non-invasive surface electromyography. Activity in tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscles was monitored by electromyograms (EMGs) in 27 healthy volunteers (11 female) during regular walking, walking while engaged in simultaneous cognitive dual tasks, walking with partial visual restriction, and skilled, targeted locomotion. Whereas EMG intensity of the TA and GM was considerably altered while walking with partial visual restriction and during targeted locomotion, dual-task walking induced only minor changes in total EMG intensity compared to regular walking. Targeted walking resulted in enhanced EMG intensity of GM in the frequency range associated with Piper rhythm synchronies. Likewise, targeted walking induced enhanced EMG intensity of TA at the Piper rhythm frequency around heelstrike, but not during the swing phase. Our findings indicate task- and phase-dependent modulations of neuromuscular control in distal leg muscles during various locomotor conditions in healthy subjects. Enhanced EMG intensity in the Piper rhythm frequency during targeted walking points toward enforced corticospinal drive during challenging locomotor tasks. These findings indicate that comprehensive time-frequency EMG analysis is able to gauge cortical involvement during different movement programs in a non-invasive manner and might be used as complementary diagnostic tool to assess baseline integrity of the corticospinal tract and to monitor changes in corticospinal drive as induced by neurorehabilitation interventions or during disease progression.

Abstract

Locomotion relies on the fine-tuned coordination of different muscles which are controlled by particular neural circuits. Depending on the attendant conditions, walking patterns must be modified to optimally meet the demands of the task. Assessing neuromuscular control during dynamic conditions is methodologically highly challenging and prone to artifacts. Here we aim at assessing corticospinal involvement during different locomotor tasks using non-invasive surface electromyography. Activity in tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscles was monitored by electromyograms (EMGs) in 27 healthy volunteers (11 female) during regular walking, walking while engaged in simultaneous cognitive dual tasks, walking with partial visual restriction, and skilled, targeted locomotion. Whereas EMG intensity of the TA and GM was considerably altered while walking with partial visual restriction and during targeted locomotion, dual-task walking induced only minor changes in total EMG intensity compared to regular walking. Targeted walking resulted in enhanced EMG intensity of GM in the frequency range associated with Piper rhythm synchronies. Likewise, targeted walking induced enhanced EMG intensity of TA at the Piper rhythm frequency around heelstrike, but not during the swing phase. Our findings indicate task- and phase-dependent modulations of neuromuscular control in distal leg muscles during various locomotor conditions in healthy subjects. Enhanced EMG intensity in the Piper rhythm frequency during targeted walking points toward enforced corticospinal drive during challenging locomotor tasks. These findings indicate that comprehensive time-frequency EMG analysis is able to gauge cortical involvement during different movement programs in a non-invasive manner and might be used as complementary diagnostic tool to assess baseline integrity of the corticospinal tract and to monitor changes in corticospinal drive as induced by neurorehabilitation interventions or during disease progression.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:29 January 2019
Deposited On:18 Apr 2019 13:56
Last Modified:01 May 2019 13:31
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-2295
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00017
PubMed ID:30761064

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