Abnormal center of mass control during balance is associated with falls in Parkinson's disease [article]

J L McKay, Kimberly C Lang, Sistania Bong, Madeleine Eve Hackney, Stewart A Factor, Lena H Ting
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Although Parkinson disease (PD) causes profound balance impairments, we know very little about how PD impacts the sensorimotor networks we rely on for automatically maintaining balance control. In young healthy people and animals, muscles are activated in a precise temporal and spatial organization when the center of body mass (CoM) is unexpectedly moved. This organization is largely automatic and determined by feedback of CoM motion. Here, we show that PD alters the sensitivity of the
more » ... ity of the sensorimotor feedback transformation. Importantly, sensorimotor feedback transformations for balance in PD remain temporally precise, but become spatially diffuse by recruiting additional muscle activity in antagonist muscles during balance responses. The abnormal antagonist muscle activity remains precisely time-locked to sensorimotor feedback signals encoding undesirable motion of the body in space. Further, among people with PD, the sensitivity of abnormal antagonist muscle activity to CoM motion varies directly with the number of recent falls. Our work shows that in people with PD, sensorimotor feedback transformations for balance are intact but disinhibited in antagonist muscles, likely contributing to balance deficits and falls.
doi:10.1101/2020.01.27.921379 fatcat:fggm7jfnejci5ln7ouh42ojujq