The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of the repetition rate of a simple movement on the magnitude of neuronal recruitment at maximal effort in humans. Nine right-handed healthy subjects [age: 27.4±4.8 yr, stature: 174.5±12.2 cm, body-weight 74.3±16.6 kg (Mean±SD)] participated in this study. We measured the regional cerebral hemodynamics using 24-channel near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). An auditory-cued, repetitive flexion movement of the right index finger against a button was performed as the finger-tapping task at maximal effort (ME), at 25% of maximal effort (25% ME) and at 50% of maximal effort (50% ME). The increase of the left primary motor cortex hemodynamics during movement relative to the hemodynamics under the resting condition was calculated for each pair of movement conditions. The frequency of finger-tapping was 1.61±0.18 Hz (25% ME trial), 3.23±0.36 Hz (50% ME trial), and 6.46±0.72 Hz (ME trial). The left primary motor cortex showed significant activation under all conditions. The change in total hemoglobin ([tHb]) between the ME trial and the resting value (1.19±0.93 mmol·mm) was significantly higher than those between the resting value and the 25% ME trial (0.04±0.04 mmol·mm) or the 50% ME trial (0.08±0.11 mmol·mm) (p<0.05). There was a 29.8-fold increase of the [tHb] value between the 50% ME trial and the ME trial, but only a 2-fold increase of the [tHb] value between the 25% ME trial and the 50% ME trial. These results demonstrated that the rate of change in regional cerebral hemoglobin at a maximal effort finger-tapping task was much higher than that at a low frequency finger-tapping task.
This study aimed to examine gender differences in 4 body-sway factors of the center of foot pressure (CFP) during a static upright posture and the influence of alcohol intake on them. Four body-sway factors were interpreted in previous studies using factor analysis (the principal factor method and oblique solution by promax-rotation) on 220 healthy young males and females as follows; unit time sway, front-back sway, left-right sway and high frequency band power. The CFP measurement for 1 min was carried out twice with 1 min rest. The measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, whole body reaction time, standing on one leg with eyes closed, and CFP were carried out before and after the alcohol intake using 11 healthy young males and females. The measurement device used was an Anima's stabilometer G5500. The data sampling frequency was 20 Hz. Reliability of 4 body-sway factors was very high. Significant gender differences were found in the left-right sway and the high frequency band power factors, but the influence on body-sway is, as a whole, can be disregarded. These four sway factors can determine the influence of alcohol intake as efficient as 32 sway parameters.
This study was designed to describe and clarify muscle activities which occur while walking in water. Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to evaluate muscle activities in six healthy subjects (mean age, 23.3±1.4 years) while they walked on a treadmill in water (with or without a water current) immersed to the level of the xiphoid process, and while they walked on a treadmill on dry land. The trials in water utilized the Flowmill which has a treadmill at the base of a water flume. Integrated EMG analysis was conducted for the quantification of muscle activities. In order to calculate the %MVC, the measurement of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of each muscle was made before the gait analysis, thus facilitating a comparison of muscle activities while walking in water with those on dry land. The %MVCs obtained from each of the tested muscles while walking in water, both with and without a water current, were all found to be lower than those obtained while walking on dry land at a level of heart rate response similar to that used when walking on dry land. Furthermore, the %MVCs while walking in water with a water current tended to be greater when compared to those while walking in water without a water current. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that muscle activities while walking in water were significantly decreased when compared to muscle activities while walking on dry land, that muscle activities while walking in water tended to be greater with a water current than without, and that the magnitude of the muscle activity in water was relatively small in healthy humans. This information is important to design water-based exercise programs that can be safely applied for rehabilitative and recreational purposes.
Objective: To investigate the influence of dentures wearing on the parameters of physical fitness, particularly on agility and balance function in elderly people. Design: A case control study. Setting: Motohachiohjimachi, Hachiohji, Tokyo, Japan. Methods: Motor reaction time was measured in the presence and absence of dentures in the subjects who were 1) in a sitting position and lifted the lower limbs as fast as possible in response to a stimulus (Sitting Group) and those who were 2) in a standing position and jumped upright as fast as possible in response to a light stimulus (Jumping Group). The effects of dentures wearing on balance function were investigated by comparing the measured values of static and dynamic body sway. Results and Conclusions: Light-reaction time was not significantly influenced by dentures wearing in Sitting Group performing a light body movement that required little muscular force. In a relatively heavy body movement that required agility (i.e., jumping from the standing position), the reactivity changed depending on the muscular force; which might result in the difference of the reactivity due to dentures wearing (i.e., t-test showed a significant difference in the light-reaction time under clenching posture between with and without wearing dentures (p<0.01)). No significant difference was observed in body sway under clenching posture between with and without wearing dentures. Therefore, we assumed that reaction speed varied depending upon dentures wearing.