Continuation of the OAIC/UM Pepper Center's Biomechanics Core is proposed as the """"""""Biomechanics Core."""""""" The Core will provide an array of techniques and equipment for the precise experimental quantification of physical functioning of healthy and frail elders to investigate attributes of the aging phenotype. It will also supply theoretical support in the form of a range of computer simulation models to analyze the elements of those functional abilities and to establish the major determinants of abilities to perform motor acts in an effective manner. The Core will initially support one Core Development Project (CDP-I: Losses of Balance; Alexander et al.), one Pilot Exploratory Study (PES-1 : Risk Factors While Turning; Persad) and one Research Initiative (Obesity and Gait; Richardson). It will make available to Core users the experience of the staff of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory (Department of Mechanical Engineering) and the Mobility Research Laboratory (Geriatrics Center) in investigating problems involving musculoskeletal biomechanics and energetics, thereby enhancing the quality of Core users' research. Physical disabilities are epidemic in the elderly. Whatever the underlying pathologies, these disabilities express themselves in biomechanical terms: reduced muscular strengths and rates of developing strengths, limited ranges and speeds of motion, reduced afferent feedback, inappropriate body segment coordination patterns, difficulty with balance and fall arrests, and even impaired pelvic floor and continence system function. The Biomechanics Core will contribute to the development of academic leaders in geriatrics by helping interested aculty and their fellows to analyze a range of geriatric problems through biomechanical research techniques. Thus, it will train them through directed study involving background reviews, hypothesis generation, interdisciplinary pilot research projects, and data analysis and interpretation to examine issues adversely affecting the physical abilities of the elderly. The Biomechanics Core will therefore enhance the quality of currently supported research and encourage the establishment of new interdisciplinary research programs in geriatric biomechanics at the University of Michigan.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
United States
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