We propose to establish a center of biomedical research excellence at the University of Nebraska Omaha that will create the infrastructure and expertise base to explore the mechanisms of human movement variability in order to treat and prevent motor related disorders. This proposal involves four research projects, each lead by a junior faculty member who will be mentored by at least one senior faculty member who is an established clinical investigator. In Project 1, Dr. Myers proposes to identify an assessment metric for clinical decision making in patients with peripheral disease using gait variability. In Project 2, Dr. Mukherjee will investigate if Virtual Reality simulations providing perception of self-motion influence gait variability in stroke survivors. This research will identify if augmente visual inputs can help to remove sensory conflicts that commonly exist during gat rehabilitation. In Project 3, Dr. Qiao will explore if older adults who are at risk of falls will demonstrate improvements in gait variability that approach that of healthy young when walking with a variable visual stimulus, compared to an invariant visual stimulus and a random visual stimulus. The short and long-term effects of the three stimuli on gait variability and performance of adaptive gait tasks will be investigated. In Project 4, Dr. Kyvelidou will investigate if differencs exist between typically developing infants and infants at risk for autism in terms of developing postural sway variability and gaze behavior in the first year as well as their relationship to late presence of diagnosis. This information could allow the development of an early detection paradigm for autism and the advancement of foundational knowledge from which treatments for autism may be developed. A strong mentoring program is established for the junior investigators, enabling them to achieve successful independent careers. This Center builds on existing expertise on the study of human movement variability and utilizes a new dedicated building with state of-the art laboratories demonstrating strong institutional support. This COBRE will be perpetuated by the addition of new projects and investigators. The result will be a continuing, self-sustaining, and competitive research Center that will transform the research culture and stimulate excellence in UNO and throughout Nebraska. PUBLIC HEALTH RELANCE: Human movement variability has been largely ignored as a source of important clinical information and has been treated as noise and error in the motor system. However, altered human movement variability is found increasingly in a variety of motor related disorders indicating reduced adaptive capacity in the neuromuscular system. The scientists in this Center will determine optimal approaches for therapies grounded on the restoration of variability and complexity of movement that could be applied across a range of diseases

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-TWD-C (C1))
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Gorospe, Rafael
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University of Nebraska Omaha
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