Yearly Archives: 2016

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 […]

Interview: Professor Stephen Lord talks about the potential of Perturbation Training 2

Making people trip and slip under controlled conditions in the lab (perturbation training) promises to be a quick method to train people how to avoid falls in the real world. Professor Stephen Lord and his team at NeuRA are investigating the effectiveness of perturbation training for preventing falls in the […]

Can the inevitable age-related decrement in motor unit number and stability be out run?

Aging is associated with reduced muscle mass and strength. This loss of muscle mass has been termed sarcopenia, meaning “poverty of flesh”.  The loss of muscle mass itself is insufficient to account for strength and power decrements during senescence, which has led to the introduction of the term ‘dynapenia’ to denote […]

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, […]

Repetitive activity, fatigue and human motoneurones

Exercise induced muscle fatigue is a common experience for healthy people. It involves multiple changes in the nervous system such as changes at the spinal and supraspinal level (central fatigue) and changes in the muscle itself (peripheral fatigue). During a fatiguing maximal effort, the ability of the nervous system to […]

Can we stop older people from falling if we teach them how to step? 2

Balance exercise programs are an effective way to prevent falls in older people. Exercises are mostly focused on controlling the center of mass while reducing the base of support, for example by standing on one leg. Balance control however, also requires adaptive responses that would require a person to either […]

Interview: Professor Lorimer Moseley talks about science communication 1

Scientists publish their most important findings in scientific journals. But who reads those journals? Almost exclusively other scientists. That means that the vast majority of people, who fund the research through their taxes, will never hear about the results even though they might be important for them. Professor Lorimer Moseley […]

Motor unit remodelling in the aged human vastus lateralis

A progressive reduction in limb muscle mass is characteristic of advancing age, usually referred to as sarcopenia (Rosenberg, 1997). This loss of muscle mass and strength is likely to contribute to the general loss of mobility and risk of falling, a major concern for the elderly. These problems have been […]