Impaired Regulation Post-stroke of Motor Unit Firing Behavior during Volitional Relaxation of Knee Extensor Torque Assessed Using High Density Surface EMG Decomposition
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC)
The purpose of this study was to use high density surface EMG recordings to quantify stroke-related abnormalities in motor unit firing behavior during repeated sub-maximal knee extensor contractions. A high density surface EMG system (sEMG) was used to record and extract single motor unit firing behavior in the vastus lateralis muscle of 6 individuals with chronic stroke and 8 controls during repeated sub-maximal isometric knee extension contractions. Paretic motor unit firing rates were increased with subsequent contractions (6.19±0.35 pps vs 7.89±0.66 pps, P <; 0.05) during task phases of torque decline as compared to controls (6.95±0.40 pps vs 6.68±0.41 pps). In addition, corresponding rates of torque decline were decreased for the paretic leg as compared to the non-paretic leg. These results suggest that regulation of declining forces may be impaired post stroke due to prolonged firing of paretic motor units.