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Clin Neurophysiol. 2013 Aug;124(8):1628-37. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.02.111. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Compensatory but not anticipatory adjustments are altered in older adults during lateral postural perturbations.

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1
Human Movement Sciences Graduation Program, Health Sciences and Sports Center, Santa Catarina State University, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study investigated anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) and compensatory postural adjustments (CPAs) and their relationship in older adults during lateral postural perturbations.

METHODS:

Unpredictable and predictable postural disturbances were induced by a swinging pendulum that impacted at the shoulder level of two groups of older adults, non-fallers (20) and fallers (20), and in a group of young control subjects (20). The electromyographic (EMG) activity of the postural muscles and the center of pressure (COP) displacement were recorded and quantified within the time intervals typical for APAs and CPAs.

RESULTS:

Both groups of older adults (non-fallers and fallers) showed higher magnitude of EMG activity in the lateral muscles and increased COP displacement, particularly, during the CPAs time interval when compared to the young group. Older adults, however, were able to change the electrical activity of the muscles during the predictable task by generating APAs with similar magnitudes of those found in young subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Compensatory but not anticipatory adjustments are altered in older adults during predictable lateral postural perturbations.

SIGNIFICANCE:

These findings provide new data on the role of APAs and CPAs in their relationship in older adults during external lateral perturbations and may advance current rehabilitative management strategies to improve balance control in older individuals.

KEYWORDS:

External perturbations; Postural control; Predictable; Standing; Unpredictable

PMID:
23601702
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinph.2013.02.111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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