Motor Impairment Blog


Combining functional exercises with resistance training increases muscle size and improves function in young adults with cerebral palsy

Sizes of leg muscles in young adults with cerebral palsy can be reduced by up to 50% compared with typically developing people (Shortland 2009). The reduced muscle size may be caused by the effects of cerebral palsy itself, reduced muscle use, treatments that are directed at the muscle (such as […]


Resistance training after stroke improves strength but not necessarily function

Muscle weakness is the largest cause of disability after stroke (Canning et al 2004). Stroke survivors have levels of muscle strength that are about half of that of people who have not had a stroke (Dorsch et al 2016; Horstman et al 2008). Thus, it is important to identify interventions that […]


Motor Impairment Blog’s most popular posts

Over the past 4.5 years, researchers from all over the world have written non-technical summaries on their research for the Motor Impairment Blog. Consequently, the Blog contains a rich archive of information on topics such as muscle strength and weakness, falls and balance, sensation, pain, motor control, and research methods. […]


Mental fatigue impairs dual-task gait performance in old adults – A new risk factor for falls in the elderly?

Mental fatigue is a psychobiological state induced by sustained periods of demanding cognitive activity. Mental fatigue can negatively impact many aspects of daily life, such as workplace and physical exercise performance. Mental fatigue can manifest itself subjectively, behaviorally and physiologically. The subjective dimension includes increased feelings of tiredness and lack […]


Jars of jam and muscle weakness in the morning

It’s 6AM. Last night, you missed dinner and you’ve woken up early because your body is ready for a feed. You stumble from your bedroom into the kitchen. You open the fridge and search for your favourite jar of jam. It’s nowhere to be found. Your partner finished it (without […]


Drinking cold water improves exercise tolerance in multiple sclerosis

During physical activity or exposure to hot environments, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) can experience heat intolerance, which leads to the rapid onset of fatigue. The underlying cause of this deterioration, known as Uhthoff’s phenomenon among MS researchers, remains unknown (Opara et al. 2016).   Due to Uhthoff’s phenomenon, individuals […]


Interview: Prof Andrew Creswell talks about the intrinsic muscles of the foot

Little is known about the small intrinsic foot muscles and their function during walking and running. In this video, Prof Andrew Creswell of the University of Queensland talks about the results of his research in which he has utilized imaging ultrasound and intramuscular electromyography to study the role of intrinsic […]


Getting to grips with body ownership

How we sense where our body is and what body parts belong to us is crucial for successful interaction with our environments (e.g. Proske & Gandevia 2012). It might seem silly to ask whether a body part belongs to you or someone else, however studies of patients and studies that […]


Keep an eye on exercise supervision

As we get older, we lose muscle size and strength and become more vulnerable to injury (de Souto Barreto 2009; Fried et al. 2005). Each year, 1 in 3 individuals over 65 has a fall (Yoshida 2007), which often leads to fractures, hospital admissions and mortality. Strength and balance exercise […]


What happens to our nerves during fatiguing exercise? 2

Motoneurones are nerve cells in the spinal cord that, when they fire, enable us to make muscle contractions and perform movements. Right now, for example, the motoneurones that control your eye muscles are firing as you move your eyes to read this text.   When we exercise or perform strenuous […]