When assessing neuromuscular function, standard strength tests are typically based on long-lasting (~3-5 s) maximum contractions providing the maximum force and, occasionally, the maximum rate of force development. However, the same tests do not sufficiently capture neural stimulation phenomena that dominate rapid discrete or consecutive actions of antagonistic muscle groups, or postural corrections, while requiring maximum contractions that could be inappropriate for some populations. As a result, the standard tests have demonstrated inconsistent and, on average, low external validity when used to predict functional movement performance in both healthy and various patient populations. The main aim of this proposal is to evaluate two novel protocols for evaluating neuromuscular function based on the mechanical output of short-lasting isometric muscular contractions. The reliability (for monitoring interventions over days/weeks), validity (regarding their relevance for predicting functional performance) and generalizability (regarding the generalization across different muscle groups of the same individual) of new protocols will be evaluated. The results are expected to provide a basis for further development of the evaluated protocols into standard tests of neuromuscular function. Subsequent research would then be proposed to more thoroughly investigate sensitivity of the dependent variables, to detect differences among various populations (e.g., healthy individuals vs. neurological patients, unilaterally affected extremities, different age groups) and evaluate the effects of various interventions.

Public Health Relevance

In the typical assessment of neuromuscular function standard strength tests are based on the ability to exert long lasting maximal contractions. The relevance of such tests, regarding many daily movement tasks is limited, and the sustained exertion of maximum forces is inappropriate for some populations. The goal of this project to evaluate two novel testing protocols based on short lasting submaximal and maximal contractions that could provide a valid assessment of neuromuscular abilities relevant for a variety of everyday tasks in various subject populations.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21AR060659-02
Application #
8103903
Study Section
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section (MRS)
Program Officer
Nuckolls, Glen H
Project Start
2010-07-02
Project End
2014-06-30
Budget Start
2011-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$165,240
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Delaware
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Allied Health Profes
DUNS #
059007500
City
Newark
State
DE
Country
United States
Zip Code
19716
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Mandic, Radivoj; Jakovljevic, Sasa; Jaric, Slobodan (2015) Effects of countermovement depth on kinematic and kinetic patterns of maximum vertical jumps. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 25:265-72
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Bellumori, Maria; Jaric, Slobodan; Knight, Christopher A (2013) Age-related decline in the rate of force development scaling factor. Motor Control 17:370-81
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Leontijevic, Bojan; Pazin, Nemanja; Bozic, Predrag R et al. (2012) Effects of loading on maximum vertical jumps: Selective effects of weight and inertia. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 22:286-93

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