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More MS news articles for October 2003

High-load coordination dynamics in athletes, physiotherapists, gymnasts, musicians and patients with CNS injury

Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 2003 Sep;43(6):353-65
Schalow G, Paasuke M, Kolts I.
Institute of Exercise Biology, University of Tartu, 5 Jakobi Street, Tartu 51014, Estonia.

High-load coordination dynamics were measured in athletes, physiotherapists, gymnasts, musicians, patients with spinal cord injury and a patient with multiple sclerosis during exercise on a special coordination dynamic therapy device to quantify improvement in the central nervous system (CNS) organization due to therapy in patients and to quantify differences in the CNS organization between healthy subjects and patients with CNS injury.

The values of high-load coordination dynamics for the group of athletes were two times better than those of physiotherapists, gymnasts and musicians, but still two times poorer than the best value achieved so far in a patient with a spinal cord injury after 10 months of continuous intensive coordination dynamics therapy.

Especially the physiotherapists, gymnasts and musicians had poor coordination between arms and legs for the difficult intermediate coordinations between pace and trot gait for high load.

Exhaustion of the CNS and improvement of CNS functioning in the short-term memory could be made visible using hysteresis-like curves for load increase and decrease.

When not receiving therapy, patients with CNS injury could not turn at high loads, and showed poor coordination at lower loads only.

After exercising 7,000 coordinated arm and leg movements per month, the CNS organization for high load improved in 3 healthy subjects by 36%.

In patients with CNS injury, such improvements of high-load coordination dynamics took several months of intensive coordination dynamics therapy including 350,000 coordinated movements per months.

The rate of learning may differ in healthy subjects and patients very approximately by a factor of 50 depending on the severity of the injury.

On the other hand however, the high-load coordination between arms and legs, necessary for walking could be improved during therapy even in patients with multiple sclerosis, with the consequence that they could manage better in every day life.