Muscle weakness or sarcopenia? Call it what it is! 1

The term ‘sarcopenia’ comes from ‘sarco-’, the Greek word for ‘flesh’ (muscle), and ‘-penia’ which denotes ‘deficiency’.  The original definition reflected this as ‘the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass that accompanies ageing (0.5–1% loss per year after the age of 25)’ (Cruz-Jentoft et al., 2010).  However over time, the […]

hand photo

Proprioception: The body’s representation of the hand

Proprioception, our ‘sixth sense’, underlies our innate ability to localise our body parts in space and to know the forces, angles and movements at our joints (Proske & Gandevia, 2012). This ‘sense’ allows us to interact with our environment. For example, reaching for a cup of water requires knowledge of the exact spatial […]


Interview: Professor Rob Herbert talks about muscle contractures

Professor Rob Herbert at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) performs research into contractures – the stiffening of joints that often occurs after neurological lesions such as stroke, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. In this video he talks about the cutting-edge techniques like ultrasound and diffusion tensor imaging that he and people […]

Muscle: a novel way to study its structure

Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI) is a novel technique used to study muscle architecture, and is currently being used for NeuRA’s motor impairment research. In his review paper, Damon et al. [1] comprehensively describes the details of the technique. In this blog, we cover some key elements to this […]


Dr Hoang preparing to test balance

Physiological profile of “fallers” with multiple sclerosis

Falls are common among people with multiple sclerosis (MS).  Many clinical tests such as the Berg Balance Scale and the Timed Up and Go or laboratory-based assessments such as posturography involving moving force-plates, have been used to estimate fall risks in MS.  But, these tests are limited to measures of functional balance, […]