Description) The specific research interests of this candidate for a Mentored Research Scientist Development (KO1) Award are in the areas of abnormal movement control, muscle pathophysiology and the investigation of their underlying causes and mechanisms following hemiparetic stroke. In an effort to become an independent and competitive investigator in the field of neuro-rehabilitation the candidate proposes to expand his skills in quantitative engineering techniques appropriate for analysis and modeling of arm movements. The candidate is a licensed Physical Therapist with advanced degrees in Neurophysiology and Rehabilitation Medicine (M.S.) and the Neurosciences (Ph.D.). Primary mentors will be Dr. Zev Rymer, a motor control neuroscientist, and Dr. Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi, who focuses on motor control and robotics. Research plan: The primary objective of the proposed project is to identify and quantify abnormal torque synergies in hemiparetic stroke subjects under both static and dynamic conditions. Previous findings by the candidate show abnormal muscle coactivation patterns using EMGs in the impaired arm of stroke subjects. More recent experiments identified abnormal torque synergies (e.g. shoulder abduction/elbow flexion) in the impaired upper limb. The proposed work is to extend the study of the abnormal torque synergies recorded under static conditions to single and multi-joint movements in the impaired upper limb. Specifically, the transition from supported to partially unsupported arm movements will be explored by varying abduction loads at the shoulder. Finally, the predictive power of abnormal torque synergies identified under static conditions for the detection of the presence and severity of movement abnormalities as measured during single and multi-joint arm movements in stroke will be investigated. Career development plan: In addition to the execution of the research plan, the candidate plans to enroll in relevant engineering mathematics and statistics courses at Northwestern University to increase his knowledge and gain expertise in advanced dynamics, signal processing and modeling techniques essential for completion of the research plan. This will be accomplished with the support and mentoring by Drs. Rymer and Mussa-Ivaldi.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
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Nitkin, Ralph M
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Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
United States
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Ricamato, Anthony L; Dhaher, Yasin Y (2004) Electrical cortical activity associated with joint torque direction in the human arm. J Clin Neurophysiol 21:192-208
Ricamato, Anthony L; Dhaher, Yasin Y; Dewald, Julius P A (2003) Estimation of active cortical current source regions using a vector representation scanning approach. J Clin Neurophysiol 20:326-44
Dewald, J P; Beer, R F (2001) Abnormal joint torque patterns in the paretic upper limb of subjects with hemiparesis. Muscle Nerve 24:273-83
Schmit, B D; Dewald, J P; Rymer, W Z (2000) Stretch reflex adaptation in elbow flexors during repeated passive movements in unilateral brain-injured patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 81:269-78
Beer, R F; Given, J D; Dewald, J P (1999) Task-dependent weakness at the elbow in patients with hemiparesis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 80:766-72