Exercise maintenance after supervised cardiac rehabilitation is important in maintaining both physical activity and physiological factors, such as peak VO2 and muscle strength (MS), associated with reduced mortality. However, there is no evidence of the effects of unsupervised exercise training and MS training on physical activity and physiological factors after supervised cardiac rehabilitation of Japanese cardiac patients. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the effect of unsupervised exercise training on physical activity and selected physiological factors after supervised cardiac rehabilitation. Eighteen myocardial infarction (MI) patients (16 men, 2 women; mean age 66.3 years) were recruited following completion of a supervised recovery-phase cardiac rehabilitation program. Patients were randomly assigned to a MS training (n=10) or control group (n=8). Baseline measurements of physical activity, peak VO2, and MS were performed at the end of supervised recovery-phase cardiac rehabilitation (6 months after the onset of MI: T1). Six months later, after going through an unsupervised exercise program (12 months after the onset of MI: T2) exercise maintenance, peak VO2, MS, and physical activity were remeasured. The MS training group performed low-intensity MS training and walking over the second 6-month period; the control group performed walking exercise only. All patients maintained their exercise training. At T2, there were no significant differences in peak VO2 values between the MS training and control groups. There was also no significant difference in physical activity (mean number of steps per week) between the MS training and control groups. However, MS was significantly higher in the MS training group than in the control group. We concluded that unsupervised exercise training and low-level MS training performed after supervised cardiac rehabilitation may effectively maintain not only physical activity and peak VO2 but increase MS.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the prognostic value of somatosensory evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) at an acute stage on recovery of an affected upper extremity (UE) function as practicality in hemiplegic patients after thalamic hemorrhage. Nine hemiplegic patients after thalamic hemorrhage were enrolled in this study. Median nerve SEFs, evoked by electrical stimulation at the wrist of the affected UE, were measured using a 204 channel whole-head magnetoencephalography system within 72 hours after the onset of thalamic hemorrhage (acute stage). Assessments on the affected UE, which included the motor palsies of the UE and fingers (Brunnstrom's motor recovery stage: BS), sensory disturbance (the thumb localizing test) and UE function (the UE ability test), were performed at both the acute stage and 3 months after the onset of thalamic hemorrhage (chronic stage). Almost all the patients showing any median nerve SEF components that originated from the somatosensory cortex in the affected hemisphere and occurred between about 20 ms and 100 ms post-stimulus at the acute stage demonstrated good outcomes in the motor palsies (BSV), sensory disturbance (normal) and affected UE function (practical hand) at the chronic stage. In contrast, majority of patients not showing them at all demonstrated poor outcomes in the motor palsies (BSIII or less), sensory disturbance (severely impaired) and affected UE function (disabled hand) at the chronic stage. These results suggest that the findings of the median nerve SEFs at the acute stage would contribute to the early outcome prediction on the affected UE function in hemiplegic patients after thalamic hemorrhage.
To clarify the excitability of spinal motor neuron function after transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES), we investigated the F-wave before and after TES. Fourteen healthy volunteers with a mean age of 23.4 years were studied. TES was applied to the flexor hallucis brevis (FHB) for 15 minutes. F-wave and M-wave were recorded from the FHB after tibial nerve stimulation at the ankle before TES, just after TES, 10, 20 and 30 minutes after TES. TES evoked full flexion of the great toe. F-wave was analyzed for the amplitude ratio of F/M, latency and duration. The amplitude ratio of F/M was 3.1% before TES, 1.4% just after TES, 1.6% 10 minutes after, 1.9% 20 minutes after and 1.7% 30 minutes after TES. Each amplitude ratio of F/M after TES was significantly lower than that before TES (p<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in the latency and the duration. These results suggest that the excitability of spinal motor neuron function after TES to muscles under this condition was reduced in healthy subjects.
The purpose of this study was to come across an exercise that increases the Hamstring contraction levels so that it may protect the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Previous studies have postulated that changing the projection of the center of gravity behind the feet will decrease the translation of the tibia, therefore protect the ACL. Muscle activity of the quadriceps, hamstring and soleus muscles in healthy subjects was measured with an EMG during three different squat tasks with differences of support of body weight and the center of gravity. The subjects were nine healthy female recreational athletes with no history of any pathological knee condition or musculoskeletal system disorder. There was no significant difference in the activities of the four muscles (Vastus Medialis; Hamstring: Semitendinosus and Biceps Femoris; and Soleus); and there was a similar pattern in the activity between those muscles in the exercises. In addition, VM values were considerably higher than the Hamstring and soleus activity levels. There was no significant difference between one squat from another and among the phases (0-30°, 30-60° or 60-90°) of knee flexion. These results suggest that even when changing the projection of the center of gravity, the activity of the quadriceps is high compared to the hamstring and soleus muscles.