School of Kinesiology Research featured at CEHD Research Day 2021

Researchers from the School of Kinesiology submitted their various work to be displayed in the 2021 CEHD Research Day poster presentation. Take a moment to listen to their presentations and view their posters!

The virtual CEHD Research Day will take place Tuesday, March 23, including presentations from the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, and World’s Challenge Challenge. Come and support CEHD faculty, staff, and students as they showcase the impact of their research.

A novel, simple system for the objective assessment of proprioceptive deficits in pediatric and adult clinical populations

Author(s): J. Oh, A. Mahnan, J. Xu, J. Holst-Wolf, J. Konczak

Proprioceptive signals, the perception of body position and movement in space, are essential for the control of movement. Adult neurological diseases such as stroke or dystonia are associated with proprioceptive deficits. Current clinical practice to assess these deficits relies mainly on subjective clinical impression. Obtaining objective measures of proprioceptive function is uncommon, because the available assessment methods rely on specialized equipment that require extra expertise and/or they are very time-consuming. We here present a new system that conveniently and objectively measures finger position sense by implementing a psychophysical threshold hunting method. The system consists of a software application and a custom-built adjustable stand to mount tablets of different dimensions that run the application. The user places one’s hand with the index finger extended on the base of the stand. The tablet is positioned over the hand. The tablet display is dissected into two colored sectors. Assessment requires the user to judge under which area the finger is located (“left” or “right”). Based on the response, a Bayesian inference adaptive algorithm calculates the new display configuration for a subsequent trial. Testing lasts less than 5 minutes and after 50 trials the application computes the user’s perceived finger position.

Initial data on long-term effects of laryngeal vibro-tactile stimulation in people with spasmodic dysphonia

Author(s): Divya Bhaskaran,Naveen Elangovan, Arash Mahnan, Jinseok Oh, Peter J. Watson, Jürgen Konczak

Objectives: Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) is a focal dystonia that causes voice breaks and a strained-strangled voice quality. Previously, a one-time administration of vibro-tactile stimulation (VTS) to the larynx improved speech quality in 69% of the participants with SD. This ongoing clinical trial examines the prolonged effect of laryngeal VTS in SD. We here report initial data of 7 participants with adductor SD who applied VTS at-home for 4 weeks.

Methods: Participants, randomly assigned to two groups, received VTS either at 100Hz or 40Hz. Smoothed cepstral peak prominence (CPPS), a marker of voice quality was obtained. The vocal effort for speaking the voiced sentences on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being maximal vocal effort, was examined. Change in variables (ΔCPPS, ΔVocal effort) between pretest and post-test was derived. A positive ΔCPPS > 2db indicates a meaningful improvement in voice quality. A negative ΔVocal effort rating indicates lesser effort to speak.

Conclusion: There is initial evidence that 40 Hz VTS assumed to stimulate only tactile mechanoreceptors above the voice box may lead to positive changes in the voice quality in SD. Other markers of voice quality are still under analysis and will provide a more comprehensive assessment of therapeutic effectiveness.

Is metabolic function of the muscle and body overlooked after traumatic injury?

Author(s): Alec M. Basten, Christiana J. Raymond-Pope, Kyle A. Dalske, Sarah M. Greising

Oxidative metabolism is essential for the basic maintenance and contractile processes of skeletal muscle. It is likely that in traumatic muscle injuries, oxidative metabolism is disrupted and leads to compromised contractile function and systemic maladaptation. Volumetric muscle loss (VML) injury is traumatic injury that causes an irrecoverable loss in function and lifelong disability. In this study, we first sought to systematically review chronic oxidative comorbidities following VML, using PRISMA guidelines. We evaluated 140 studies, only 7 met our inclusion criteria. Results suggest that myofibers remaining following VML adopt a slower, more oxidative phenotype but lack the subsequent increase in capillarity that is expected in oxidative myofibers. Second, we evaluated how VML injury chronically impairs the capillarity and oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle. Mice underwent a sham procedure or a full-thickness multi-muscle VML injury and were evaluated at one- and two months post-injury. Strength was decreased and capillary to fiber ratios were significantly disrupted following VML. Combined, data from our studies suggest that oxidative maladies following VML exist but there is currently limited work aimed to characterize and/or address metabolic health following VML.

Pilot Study Examining the Efficacy of Home-Based High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Physical Activity Adherence

Author(s): Beth Lewis, Katie Schuver, and Shira Dunsiger

Only 19% of women and 26% of men meet the USDHHS physical activity (PA) recommendations despite the numerous health benefits associated with PA. High intensity interval training (HIIT), which consists of short bursts of high-intensity PA followed by recovery or light PA, potentially addresses the time barrier associated with PA adherence. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a home-based HIIT intervention on PA adherence among low active adults. Participants (n=47) were randomly assigned to a home-based HIIT intervention or wait-list control lasting 12 weeks. Participants in the HIIT intervention received eight telephone calls designed to increase PA adherence by utilizing strategies based on Self-Determination Theory. Participants in the HIIT intervention increased their vigorous intensity PA from 3.9 minutes per week at baseline to 40.0 minutes at six weeks and 61.8 minutes at 12 weeks, which met the study’s vigorous intensity goal of 60 minutes of HIIT per week and was significantly more minutes/week than the wait list control at six weeks. This study provides evidence for feasibility and possible efficacy of a home-based HIIT intervention; however, additional studies are needed with larger samples sizes to confirm efficacy of home-based HIIT interventions.

Recreational Screen Time Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S.: A Mixed-Methods Study among a Diverse Population-based Sample of Emerging Adults

Author(s): Brooke E. Wagner, Amanda L. Folk, Samantha L. Hahn, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Nicole Larson, and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Understanding how screen time behaviors changed during the COVID-19 pandemic is important to inform the design of health promotion interventions. The purpose of this study was to quantify and describe changes in recreational screen time from 2018 to 2020 among a diverse sample of emerging adults. Participants (n=716) reported their average weekly recreational screen time in 2018 and again during the pandemic in 2020. Additionally, participants qualitatively reported how events related to COVID-19 had influenced their screen time. Weekly recreational screen time increased from 25.9±11.9 hours in 2018 to 28.5±11.6 hours during COVID-19 (p<0.001). The form of screen time most commonly reported to increase was TV shows and streaming services (n=233). Commonly reported reasons for changes in screen time were boredom (n=112) and a desire to connect with others (n=52). Some participants reported trying to reduce screen time because of its negative impact on their mental health (n=32). Findings suggest that screen time and mental health may be intertwined during the pandemic as it may lead to poorer mental health for some, while promoting connectedness for others. Health professionals and public health messaging could promote specific forms for screen time to encourage social connection during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.