Project details


EEG time-frequency patterns related to the contribution of arm movement in the onset and continuation of gait

EEG-EMG gait Parkinson disease

Dr. B.M. de Jong
prof. dr. ir. N.M. Maurits
J. Weersink

Nature of the research:
Case-control study

Fields of study:

Background / introduction
Locomotion of quadrupeds, with abrupt switches between e.g. trot and gallop, obviously requires coordinated action of four limbs. Bipedal gait in human similarly exhibits a characteristic four-limb pattern with anti-phase arm swing in a frequency identical to that of the lower limb oscillations. The onset of locomotion or gait initiation, is defined as the phase between standing motionless and steady-state locomotion. Patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) typically exhibit short shuffling steps and reduced arm swing, while they often suffer from difficulties in both onset and continuation of gait, including freezing of gait. Decreased supplementary motor area (SMA) activation, which is a strong finding in PD patients, has been associated with both initiation failures and gait abnormalities characterized by an impaired anti-phase cyclic movement organization underlying reduced arm swing. Cerebral circuitry, including the SMA, controlling the onset and continuation of human locomotion and its pathophysiology remains to be further identified. Neuroimaging techniques that explore functioning of and connectivity within these circuits can be used to understand how these gait disturbances develop as well as identify potential targets for medical and surgical interventions.
Research question / problem definition
The primary objective is to examine how arm swing contributes to the onset and continuation of locomotion in healthy participants and PD patients and to study its underlying functional brain networks
In this experiment, we will use wireless combined electroencephalography (EEG) - electromyography (EMG) to measure brain and muscle activity during locomotion. During the experiments, participants will be fitted with a 32-channel EEG cap and EMG will be recorded from five of the major muscles involved in locomotion (tibialis anterior, soleus, rectus femoris, biceps femoris and gluteus medius). Moreover, accelerometers will be attached to the lower trunk and both left and right shanks. Each participant will then execute several walking tasks. Data will be collected with video recordings of the entire session to allow visually-supported gait analysis.
The student will be involved in the process of collecting EEG-EMG data and learn how to analyze these data afterwards.
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