Clinical measures of balance and mobility for older adults were used in the present study, to characterize the subject sample. The near-maximum scores obtained corroborate the ceiling effects reported in community-dwelling older adults  and underline that our sample was relatively healthy and fit. For all subjects tested, scores fell within the maximum ranges of the tests. On average, subjects were predicted to have a low risk of falling (QS = 0–1 points , BBS = 43–56 points ; MB = 19–28 points  and TUG and even DTUG,13.5 s ), no balance impairments (POMA-B = 14–16 points)  and no risk of developing a future disability (SPPB = 10–12 points) . The clinical tests used in this study, are thus not sensitive to subtle impairments of balance that the ML-CoM tracking tasks revealed. Different factors may account for the lower control bandwidth observed in the older adults. The gluteus medius muscles are strongly involved in ML weight-shifting tasks . When target frequency increases, faster changes in hip torques are required, which could be limited by the rate of force development of the hip abductors  possibly due to a selective atrophy of type-II (fast- twitch) fibers  and due to a reduced number of fast motor units . Furthermore, tendons become more compliant with age, which can further delay force transmission and thus slow down ML balance responses . It is also plausible that an increased co-activation of antagonist muscles acting in the frontal plane during the tracking tasks may hamper CoM displacement in the ML direction , as increased co-activation coinciding with greater stiffness and damping during ML perturbations was found in older adults .
The inclusion criteria, besides an age between 18–50 years and a BMI between 20–30 kg/m 2 , were a good health, non-smoking, not using a more than moderate amount of alcohol (,10 consumptions per week) or caffeine-containing beverages (,2 cups per day). Subjects had to be weight stable (weight change ,3kg during the last 6 months), not using medication except for oral contraceptives in women and had to be dietary unrestraint. The Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) was used to determine eating behaviour . Only non-restrained eaters (,10 scores on factor 1), these are persons who are not consciously occupied with food or who are caloric restricted, were selected. Subjects had to be moderately active (,5 hours exercise per week) and used to consuming spicy foods on a regular basis (1–2 days per week, in a low dosage with one meal/day). Pregnant or lactating women were also excluded. Individuals with allergies for the food items used in the study were excluded from participation. Subject sample size was calculated where a was 0.05, b was 0.95 using energy expenditure changes from past papers  to calculate the effect size. The sample size was finalized as 14 subjects. The a- level was two-sided.
Differently, other studies have found that eye movements deteriorate postural stability. Hunter and Hoffman (2001) investigated the effects of varying visual demands paired with a concurrent cognitive task on postural stability and observed significantly greater sway variability in the eye movement condition compared to the no eye movement condition. Glasauer, Schneider, Jahn, Strupp, and Brandt (2005) demonstrated that movement of eyes during pursuit (with or without simultaneous head pursuit) consistently increased body sway in the contexts of complete darkness, space fixed target, and moving target. The authors argued that, besides typical influence of movement of the visual scene onbalancecontrol, eye movement signals have a direct influence on postural control, concluding that “the eyes move the body” (p. 1292). Patients with vestibular neuritis were studied as they wore a mask to allow fixation of a head-fixed target in order to suppress their spontaneous nystagmus and the observed suppression of nystagmus was associated with reduced postural sway while standing on foam rubber, which was interpreted as support for the notion that the visual stabilization of posture is not only dependent on afferent visual cues but also on ocular motor signals (Jahn et al., 2002; Strupp et al., 2003).
Unexpected sudden perturbations challenge postural equilibrium and require reactive com- pensation. This study aimed to assess interaction effects of the direction, displacement and velocity of perturbations on electromyographic (EMG) activity, centre of pressure (COP) dis- placement and joint kinematics to detect neuromuscular characteristics (phasic and seg- mental) and kinematic strategies of compensatory reactions in an unilateral balance paradigm. In 20 subjects, COP displacement and velocity, ankle, knee and hip joint excur- sions and EMG during short (SLR), medium (MLR) and long latency response (LLR) of four shank and five thigh muscles were analysed during random surface translations varying in direction (anterior-posterior (sagittal plane), medial-lateral (frontal plane)), displacement (2 vs. 3cm) and velocity (0.11 vs. 0.18m/s) of perturbation when balancing on one leg on a movable platform. Phases: SLR and MLR were scaled to increased velocity (P<0.05); LLR was scaled to increased displacement (P<0.05). Segments: phasic interrelationships were accompanied by segmental distinctions: distal muscles were used for fast compensation in SLR (P<0.05) and proximal muscles to stabilise in LLR (P<0.05). Kinematics: ankle joints compensated for both increasing displacement and velocity in all directions (P<0.05), whereas knee joint deflections were particularly sensitive to increasing displacement in the sagittal (P<0.05) and hip joint deflections to increasing velocity in the frontal plane (P<0.05). COP measures increased with increasing perturbation velocity and displacement (P<0.05). Interaction effects indicate that compensatory responses are based on complex processes, including different postural strategies characterised by phasic and segmental specifications, precisely adjusted to the type of balance disturbance. To regain balance after surface trans- lation, muscles of the distal segment govern the quick regain of equilibrium; the muscles of the proximal limb serve as delayed stabilisers after a balance disturbance. Further, a kine- matic distinction regarding the compensation for balance disturbance indicated different
Continuous performance tests (CPTs) are increasingly used to assess attentional processes such as sustained attention and as part of diagnostic tools for neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention-deicit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The most popular commercial continuous performance test is the Conners’ Continuous Performance Test II (CCPT II; Conners, 2002), which consists of a computerized visual task that requires the subject to discriminate between target and non-target stimuli (X and non-X letters). The individuals are instructed to press a computer key whenever any letter except X appears on the screen; therefore, the test requires an inhibitory response. The CCPT II provides 15 measures that potentially relect different dimensions of attention, rather than only sustained attention, for which it was originally designed. A recent study of the construct validity of these measures by Egeland & Kovalik-Gran (2010) found ive different attention factors—focused attention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, sustained attention/vigilance, and control (change in control)—that help to differentiate clinical groups.
ABSTRACT | Background: Treadmill gait training as a therapeutic resource in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy has recently been the focus of many studies; however, little is still known regarding its effect on static and functional balance in children. Objective: The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of treadmill training and over ground gait training in children with cerebral palsy. Method: A randomized controlled trial with blinded evaluator was conducted with children with cerebral palsy between three and 12 years of age categorized in Levels I to III of the Gross Motor Function Classification System. Assessments were performed before and after the intervention and involved the Berg balance scale as well as the determination of oscillations from the center of pressure in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions with eyes open and closed. The experimental group was submitted to treadmill training and the control group performed gait training over the ground. The intervention consisted of two 30-minute sessions per week for seven weeks. Results: Both groups exhibited better functional balance after the protocol. The experimental group had higher Berg balance scale scores and exhibited lesser mediolateral oscillation with eyes open in comparison to the control group. Conclusions: Treadmill training had a greater effect on functional balance and mediolateral oscillation in comparison to over ground gait training in children with cerebral palsy. Trial registration: RBR-5v3kg9 (Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials).
Several studies have investigated the effects of eye movements on postural control in an attempt to clarify how the search for visual information that elicits such movements affects balance. In young adults, pursuit eye move- ments increase body oscillations associated with constantly chasing a target (Bobrova, Le- vik, Shlykov, & Kazennikov, 2004; Glasauer, Schneider, Jahn, Strupp, & Brandt, 2005). Sac- cadic eye movements have been shown to de- crease body sway (Legrand et al., 2013; Rey, Lê, Bertin, & Kapoula, 2008; Rodrigues et al., 2013; Stoffregen, Bardy, Bonnet, Hove, & Oul- lier, 2007). Such an effect has also been ob- served in patients with vestibular disorders (Monzani et al., 2005) and children (Ajrezo, Wiener-Vacher, & Bucci, 2013). Saccades are very fast eye movements that are performed to bring a new region of the visual scene to the fovea (Carpenter, 1988), which allows follow- ing objects in the environment and acquiring visual cues that might be used for the produc- tion of motor activity.
for 4 min, in the same position. During each test the subjects were instructed to perform deep forced inspirations and expirations, calmly and slowly, so that each cycle lasted 10 s, i.e., 5 s for inspiration and 5 s for expiration. This procedure was based on the literature which advocates that cycles with 10- to 12-s duration, which correspond to a breath rate of 5 to 6 cycles/min are the most reliable to obtain maximal RSA (12). The subjects controlled their breath rate with a pointer clock and verbal feedback cues from the researchers. Real time feedback was given by the researchers based on observation of the visualized ECG signal on the computer screen which confirmed if the respiratory cycle had been performed in the correct way. At the end of the experiment, the sub- jects were instructed to breathe normally during the 1-min recovery. A resting period was allowed between tests to permit HR return to the control condition.
Objective: To compare the effects of physical fitness and function on older adults in two programs of supervised exercise activity: resistance training and aerobic exercise. Methods: This study is a randomized, prospective clinical trial composed of sedentary elderly people who did not have contraindications to exercise. Participants were divided into two groups: group one performed 6 exercises of resistance training twice a week, and group two participated in walking activity for 30 minutes twice a week. Functional assessment (time 0,6 and 12 months) was measured by the Short Physical Performance Battery (time to sit or stand, gait speed, and balance), flexibility test, and the six-minute walking test. We randomly selected 96 patients: 46 in the Resistance Training Group and 50 in the Aerobic Exercise Group. In the Resistance Training Group, 46 attended the first assessment and 20 attended until the third section. In the Aerobic Exercise Group, 50 attended the first assessment and 12 attended until the third assessment. Results: Mean age was 68.8 years in the Resistance Training Group and 69.1 years in the Aerobic Exercise Group. The Resistance Training Group showed improvement in the sit/ stand (p=0.022), balance with feet in a row (p=0.039) and queued (p=0.001). The second showed a statistical difference in speed and balance with the feet lined up and the feet together (p=0.008; p=0.02; and p=0.043, respectively). Concerning flexibility, the Resistance Training Group had improvement (p=0.001), whereas in the Aerobic Exercise Group, no significant difference was seen (p=0.359). Both groups had improvement in the six-minute walking test, but no significant improvement was seen in the Aerobic Exercise Group (p=0.033). Conclusion: Both groups showed improvement in physical fitness. No statistical difference was seen when groups was compared in the short physical performance battery, flexibility, and six-minute walking test.
serendipitously discovered in MRL mice that completely closed, within 30 days, 2-mm through-and-through ear holes generally used for lifelong identification of the animals (4). Many studies on ear hole closure have used C57BL/6 mice from different sources as a control non-regenerating strain and this strain has been reported to have a limited or even null capacity of regenerating ear structures (4-6). Some reports have associated differences in the process of wound healing with differences in immunological activities and have suggested that the occurrence of more robust inflammatory reactions with the participation of lymphocytes impairs regeneration (1,2,7-10). Although many studies have been devoted to this subject, no clear explanation of differences in wound healing or regeneration is available and efforts should be made to obtain it.
Borges et al. (2003b) evaluated diets with 145 (control), 0, 120, 240 and 360 mEq/kg DEB and also reported that litter moisture linearly increased with DEB values, probably as a response to the higher water intake observed. Water intake and turnover increase as DEB values and broiler age increase, with consequent higher water excretion and wet litter. Ravindran et al. (2008) evaluated the effects of DEB levels on excreta dry matter content and observed that the excreta of broilers fed diets with 300 and 375 mEq/kg were more humid (76.9 and 81.2%, respectively) compared with broilers fed 150 and 225 mEq/kg (73.1 and 72.3%, respectively).
Higher lipid concentration in plasma of ASTA-fed rats was not followed by hyperglycemic conditions or increased antioxidant capacity, as demonstrated by GSH/GSSG scores and oxidative modifications in plasma lipids (Table 1). Based on previous studies from our group, the ASTA effect on plasma glucose, cholesterol or triacylglycerol concentrations is supposedly dependent on the carotenoid content in the diet, since those changes were not ob- served when animals were fed with a 20-fold higher dose of ASTA . Interestingly, Aoi et al. (2008) showed that exercising mice fed with 0.02% (w/w) ASTA consumed more lipids than glucose as energy source, resulting in an increased running time to exhaustion . Although FO supplementation alone did not alter physiologi- cal or redox parameters in plasma (compared to control), its combi- nation with ASTA substantially augmented GSH content, its redox turnover (conversion of oxidized GSSG back to its reduced form, GSH) and, consequently, thiol-dependent reducing power of plasma (Table 1). Glutathione-based and lipid peroxidation markers in plasma confirm our previous results of the biochemical and puta- tive anxiolytic effects of the ASTA + FO treatment . Important hypolipidemic and hypocholesterolemic effects were also observed in the ASTA + FO group (compared to ASTA-fed animals), suggesting a specific effect of FO supplementation, since similar results were also found in the FO-group. Accordingly, experiments in humans indicate a profound hypolipidemic effect of FO, especially by lower- ing plasma triacylglycerol . In agreement with Engler et al. , we also observed hypolipidemic/hypocholesterolemic effects asso- ciated with 65% higher NO concentration in plasma of FO + ASTA
Older individuals who meet the inclusion criteria follow- ing the baseline assessment and sign the informed con- sent will be randomized into one of two VR protocols: conventional or multimodal. Randomization will be accomplished by a statistical computer program, by blocks. The block randomization will be gradually per- formed during the study according to the number of eli- gible participants registered on the waiting list. Hence, the block sizes will not be fixed and will vary from 4 to 12 subjects, concerning the minimum and maximum capacity for VR at the Otoneurology outpatient clinic. Blocks will therefore eventually be composed of an odd number of participants, and as a consequence unequal groups could be formed. Block randomization was pre- ferred in order to prevent time-related influences from disturbing the homogeneity of both groups over the data collection period (2 years and 6 months). Sample randomization and allocation will be performed by a re- searcher who is not involved in the clinical trial. In order to assure concealed allocation, the treating therapist will be informed by telephone call regarding the allocation of each participant just before their first session.
Maintaining upright posture becomes a challenge with increasing age, whereas the instability is related, among other components, with the involvement of the vestibular apparatus. There is a reduction in labyrinthine hair cells receptor density and the amount of vestibular ganglion cell receptor related to aging . The vestibular system is considered a benchmark for effectiveness of maintaining balance, compared with the visual and somatosensory system. When there is no integration of visual informa- tion, proprioceptive and labyrinthine, the balance will be affected .
Stability is achieved through the generation of moments of force on the body joints to neutralize the effect of gravity and any other perturbation. This continuous and dynamic process maintains a given posture over time. Therefore, the integration of somatosensory and vestibular input is necessary to ensure adequate postural control (24). While the anteroposterior balance is maintained by the ankle torque, the mediolateralbalance is maintained by the hip and trunk torque. As observed in patients with COPD, in the present study, the degree of hyperinflation in the group with more severe asthma might also contribute to the increased activity of the trunk muscles, with a consequent increase in their rigidity. These phenomena might reduce the contribution of the trunk movements and the force moments for balancecontrol (4,5). Interestingly, Cunha et al. (23) also demonstrated a higher area of CoP displacement in adults with asthma using a force platform.
There is a gap between the knowledge obtained from global studies of universal C allocation rules in forests and our understanding of the cell processes that underlie cambial activity; currently, this gap appears to be the primary obstacle to a more complete understanding of wood growth drivers. In this regard, species-specific studies that evaluate the dy- namic of C partitioning to annual wood growth along soil and climate gradients would be highly useful but are lack- ing. Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of data sets that com- bine EC and growth measurements at the same sites (Luys- saert et al., 2007). Here, we circumvented this limitation by complementing stand and soil measurements at a French per- manent plot network of 49 forest sites with process-based simulations of annual and seasonal tree C balance (Fig. 1). Simulations were performed using a process-based model (CASTANEA, Dufrêne et al., 2005) that was thoroughly val- idated using EC data from throughout Europe (Davi et al., 2005; Delpierre et al., 2009, 2012) and was applied using site-specific parameters. By relating biometric measurements to variables that explain the C source and sink activity, we evaluated the key drivers of the annual C allocation to stand wood growth in five species that are representative of the main European forest biomes: Fagus sylvatica, Quercus pe- traea and Quercus robur for temperate deciduous broadleaf forests; Picea abies, for high-latitude and high-altitude ev- ergreen needleleaf forests; and Quercus ilex, an evergreen broadleaf species from Mediterranean forests. Specifically, the relative influence of annual and seasonal (from 1 month to 1 year) tree C balance (source control), direct environmen- tal control (water and temperature effectson sink activity) and allocation adjustments related to age, past climate con- ditions, competition intensity and soil nutrient availability on tree growth were considered (Fig. 1). We aimed to (1) quan- tify the relative contributions of source and sink controls to the spatio-temporal dynamic of forest wood growth across a wide range of environmental contexts and (2) provide infor- mation that can be used to refine the representation of forest growth causalities in TBMs.
Impaired Compensatory Refeeding in Pomc-Ablation Mice Because Pomc neurons serve as primary hypothalamic sensors for adiposity signals, we suspected that hyperphagia and reduced energy expenditure in Pomc-ablation mice were caused by an underlying abnormality in the hypothalamic circuitry that normally maintains peripheral energy stores. To test this idea directly, we examined the ability of 6-mo-old mutant and control animals to increase food intake acutely following a period of food deprivation. After a 48-h fast, animals normally compensate with a transient hyperphagia sufficient to restore adipose depots to prefasting levels, a phenomenon typically associated with a 2-fold increase in food intake over 24 h. We found that Pomc-ablation mice exhibit an impaired compensatory refeeding response, consuming approximately 25% less than expected (Figure 8A); conversely, Agrp-ablation mice exhibited a normal refeeding response (Figure 8B). These effects also were apparent in weight gain after refeeding; control and Agrp- ablation mice were able to recover their body weight precisely within 24 h after fasting, while Pomc-ablation mice were not (Figure 8C and 8D).
Although the Locus of Control does not seem to differ by gender among adults (De Bra- bander and Boone, 1990), teenage girls tend to present more internal control than their male counterparts (Manger and Eikeland, 2000). Age is also important by itself, as people be- come more internally oriented as they grow older, peaking in middle age (Lefcourt (1982), Heckhausen and Schulz (1995)). On the family background, Strauser et al. (2002) argue that working parents are important role models for valuing effort, resulting in more internal chil- dren, while Schneewind (1995) notes, among other things, that having more siblings makes children more external. Lower socioeconomic status is also associated with more external loci (Freed and Tompson, 2011), but the channels through which this occurs is still in debate. Ethnicity and culture matter too: Berry (2002) argue that black people are more external than white in the U.S. even after controlling for their socioeconomic status; Uba (2003) concludes that more individualistic societies also promote more internal loci by comparing chinese in America and Hong Kong - the latter are typically more external.
Hiking is a demanding form of exercise that may cause delayed responses of the postural muscles and a loss of somatosensory information, particularly when repeatedly performed for several days. These effects may negatively influence the postural control of hikers. There- fore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a four-day hike on postural control. Twenty-six adults of both sexes travelled 262 kilometers, stopping for lunch and resting in the early evening each day. Force platforms were used to collect center of pressure (COP) data at 100 Hz for 70 seconds before hiking started and immediately after arriving at the rest station each day. The COP time course data were analyzed according to global stabilometric descriptors, spectral analysis and structural descriptors using sway density curve (SDC) and stabilometric diffusion analysis (SDA). Significant increases were found for global variables in both the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions (COP sway area, COP total sway path, COP mean velocity, COP root mean square value and COP range). In the spectral analysis, only the 80% power frequency (F80) in the anterior-posterior direction showed a significant increase, reflecting the increase of the sway frequencies. The SDC revealed a sig- nificant increase in the mean distance between peaks (MD) and a significant decrease in the mean peak amplitudes (MP), suggesting that a larger torque amplitude is required for stabili- zation and that the postural stability is reduced. The SDA revealed a decrease in the long- term slope (Hl) and increases in the short-term (Ks) and the long-term (Kl) intercepts. We considered the likelihood that the presence of local and general fatigue, pain and related neuromuscular adaptations and somatosensory deficits may have contributed to these pos- tural responses. Together, these results demonstrated that four days of hiking increased sway frequencies and deteriorated postural control in the standing position.
Lower limb muscles in both legs were passively stretched by the researcher during 10-min of contract-relax PNF protocol, in the following manner: (a) subjects kept in standing position, a knee flexion was performed to stretch the quadriceps femoris muscle; (b) subjects kept lying down, the hip was flexed in knee extension for the hamstring muscles; (c) subjects kept lying down, the ankle was moved in dorsiflexion for the tibialis anterior muscle; and (d) subjects kept lying down, the ankle was moved in plantar-flexion for the triceps surae. The subject performed a maximal isometric contraction to the target muscle during 5-sec for the agonist muscle, followed by 5-sec of relaxation, and 5-sec of static- stretching. All subjects had a right dominant leg based on the limb used for kicking the ball.