A primary health concern for aging adults is balance deterioration, which severely limits their activities of daily living and community participation. While a decline in the ability to use compensatory (feedback) mechanisms of postural control have been studied in this population, the utilization of anticipatory (feed forward) postural adjustments in the elderly is not well documented. Inability of older adults to optimally generate postural adjustments prior to (in anticipation of) an upcoming balance threat may put them at a greater risk for losing balance. Understanding the effect of aging on the utilization of anticipatory postural adjustments in subsequent control of posture requires studying the two mechanisms together. Recently, the PIs developed a new method of applying external body perturbations that allows them to examine the individual effects of each mechanism of postural control and their interaction. Given the insufficiency of data on the anticipatory postural control in the elderly and the availability of a novel experimental technique, the objectives of this study are: 1) to provide important baseline information regarding the generation of anticipatory postural adjustments in older individuals, 2) to investigate the interaction between anticipatory and compensatory mechanisms of balance control in older adults, and 3) to examine the effect of differences in functional balance capacity of older adults on the interaction between anticipatory and compensatory mechanisms of balance control.
Two specific aims will be tested in experiments involving older (functionally stable and unstable) and young adults subjected to external perturbations while standing. Electromyographic recordings, ground reaction forces, and kinematic data will be collected and analyzed. Current rehabilitation strategies in the elderly are not focused on restoration of feed forward postural control, mainly due to an inadequate understanding of the role of anticipatory postural adjustments in balance control. This study will form the foundation for a longer-term research program centered on retraining the ability of older adults to use anticipatory adjustments in maintenance and improvement of balance control.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed project will study control of posture in the elderly. The PIs will investigate the differences in utilization of anticipatory postural adjustments between older (functionally stable and unstable) and young adults subjected to external perturbations while standing. The outcome of the study is important for the future development of therapeutic advances focused on treatment of postural disorders.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
5R03HD064838-02
Application #
8214676
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Shinowara, Nancy
Project Start
2011-03-01
Project End
2014-02-28
Budget Start
2012-03-01
Budget End
2014-02-28
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$75,568
Indirect Cost
$25,568
Name
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Allied Health Profes
DUNS #
098987217
City
Chicago
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
60612
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Lee, Yun-Ju; Aruin, Alexander S (2015) Effects of asymmetrical stance and movement on body rotation in pushing. J Biomech 48:283-9
Mohapatra, Sambit; Kukkar, Komal K; Aruin, Alexander S (2014) Support surface related changes in feedforward and feedback control of standing posture. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 24:144-52
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Panwalkar, Nilovana; Aruin, Alexander S (2013) Role of ankle foot orthoses in the outcome of clinical tests of balance. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol 8:314-20
Mohapatra, Sambit; Aruin, Alexander S (2013) Static and dynamic visual cues in feed-forward postural control. Exp Brain Res 224:25-34
Mohapatra, Sambit; Krishnan, Vennila; Aruin, Alexander S (2012) Postural control in response to an external perturbation: effect of altered proprioceptive information. Exp Brain Res 217:197-208