Send to

Choose Destination
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2010 May;24(4):328-37. doi: 10.1177/1545968309343215. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Evaluation of abnormal synergy patterns poststroke: relationship of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment to hemiparetic locomotion.

Author information

Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, NF/SG Veterans Affairs Health System, Gainesville, Florida 32608, USA.



Assessment of poststroke motor impairment has historically focused on the ability to move within and outside of abnormal synergistic motor patterns and is typically quantified by the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA). However, it is unclear if the voluntary, isolated movement tasks of the FMA are appropriate for evaluating walking task-specific motor control requirements because walking is cyclical and involves considerable sensorimotor integration.


The purpose of this study is to test whether the motor impairment measured by the FMA is indicative of motor dysfunction during walking in poststroke adults.


Thirty-four individuals with chronic poststroke hemiparesis and 17 healthy controls walked for 60 seconds on an instrumented treadmill while recording electromyographic activity (EMG) from 8 lower extremity muscles. EMG recordings were also obtained during the FMA for those with hemiparesis to examine muscle activation patterns. Each participant was examined with a battery of walking-specific clinical and biomechanical assessment tools and stratified based on the FMA synergy (FMS) score. To further quantify muscle activation patterns during walking, a nonnegative matrix factorization (NNMF) determined the number of independent modules required to describe 90% of the total variance in the EMG patterns.


Stratification poorly differentiated motor activation across FMA tasks as well as EMG patterns during walking. While FMS correlated with 2 of 6 walking assessments, the number of EMG modules significantly correlated with all 6 walking performance measures.


Voluntary, discrete activities as performed in the FMA may be inadequate to capture the complex motor behavior in walking. Conversely, walking-specific evaluations such as NNMF appear more appropriate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center