May 02, 2013

Webinar: Unraveling the Biomechanics of Hemiparetic Gait through Mechanical & Neuromechanical Simulations

Ilse Jonkers and Friedl De Groote describe their insights into hemiparetic gait using a perturbation analysis of split-belt walking and a newly developed neuromechanical control model.

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Title: Unraveling the Biomechanics of Hemiparetic Gait through Mechanical and Neuromechanical Simulations
Speakers: Ilse Jonkers and Friedl De Groote, KU Leuven
Time: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time


Muscle-driven forward simulations have been used to better understand gait impairments after stroke. However, it remains unclear to what extent mechanical and neural factors contribute to these impairments. In this webinar, we will present the two computational approaches we are currently exploring to better understand the extent to which each of these factors contribute to the gait kinematics seen after stroke.

Exploring Mechanical Factors: Utilizing both experiments and computational simulations of split-belt walking, we investigated how asymmetric gait changes muscle contributions to center of mass (COM) accelerations compared to symmetric gait in healthy subjects. During the webinar, we will describe our experimental set-up and how we generated simulations to model split-belt walking, and further, discuss the use of perturbation analysis to determine the individual muscle contributions to accelerations of the COM.

Exploring Neural Factors: We have also developed a new simulation framework to investigate the contribution of increased muscle spindle feedback in combination with altered feedback modulation to hemiparetic gait patterns after stroke. During the webinar, we will describe our new workflow, which incorporates both a neural control model and a foot-ground contact model into the generic musculoskeletal model.

We will explore the results of both of these approaches and demonstrate the potential of muscle-driven simulations to unravel the causal relationships between neural control deficit and muscle coordination on the one hand, and the induced hemiparetic gait impairment on the other hand.

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